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Rules concerning tooth brush (Miswak) during fasting

Question 391: Salamualekum members. Please what is the view of ahlulbat on chewing stick (miswak) whiles fasting?

Answer 391: One of the things which is considered as makru for a person observing Fast is to clean his teeth with a wet toothbrush.

If a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.[1]

When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst or to get rid of a bad smell of mouth and the water uncontrollably goes down one’s throat and one has already known it that if he\she does so the water will go down his\her throat, qadha has to be given.[2]

A fast is not invalidated by swallowing the saliva which has gathered in the mouth, even if it has gathered due to recalling something. Likewise, according to the stronger opinion, (a fast is not invalidated) by swallowing the phlegm which has not yet reached the cavity of mouth, without there being any difference whether it has come down from the head or has emerged from the chest (or lungs). As regards the phlegm which has reached the cavity of mouth, caution must not be given up by abstaining from swallowing it. If the phlegm has come out of the mouth, and then a person swallows it, his fast shall thereby be rendered void. The same rule applies to saliva. Rather, (the same rule shall apply) if there is a pebble in the mouth of a person, and he takes it out, and there is some saliva on it, then the person puts it again into his mouth and swallows it. (The same rule shall apply), if a tailor wets a thread by his saliva, then puts it back into his mouth, and swallows it along with the moisture on it. (The same rule shall apply), if a person uses the tooth brush, and it comes out wet with saliva, and then he puts its back into his mouth and swallows the moisture etc., on it, and his fast shall be rendered void.

Of course, if the moisture on the tooth brush is mixed up with his saliva in a way that it may not be said that he has swallowed his saliva with something other in it, there shall be no harm. The same rule applies to tasting broth, chewing the food or the amount of water left after rinsing. Likewise, there is no harm in chewing the bark of a tree, according to the more valid opinion, even if its taste has remained in his saliva as long as it is not due to the scattering of its particles, even if they are absorbed in the mouth.[3]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index: Fast in countries with long days, answer 106.

Index: Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan, answer 627.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Fasting, Eating and Drinking.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra)), Vol. 1, Pg. 892, Q  1573; Ibid, Pgs. 895-942, Q 1582&1690; the Official website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Fasting, occasions on which it is obligatory to observe the Qadha only;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 272.

[3] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Chapter on Things Which Must Be Refrained in a Fast.

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Masturbation and forget performing Ghusl in Ramadan

Question 141: If you masturbate during the night and forget to do ghusl, can you still perform ghusl when you wake up and fast that day?

Answer 141: The grand maraja’ answer in this regards is as follows: If one who becomes jonob during a night of the holy month of Ramadan and is sure or probably knows that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before morning Adhan (call to prayer) and do ghusl. So, if he falls asleep with the decision till Adhan, his fast would be considered as valid.

If one goes to sleep and wakes up later and knows or guesses that if he wants to go to sleep again he’ll wake up before morning adhan with the decision to do jinabat ghusl but he won’t wake up till adhan, then one must make his fast up.

There is no need to give Kaffarah even if he wakes up of the second sleep and goes to sleep for the third time and won’t wake up till adhan.[1]

Note: Masturbation is defined as self-stimulation of the sexual organ till one achieves emission of semen or orgasm. This applies to both men and women. This Self-satisfaction which is referred to as Istimna’ (masturbation) is a major sin and haram. It has a heavy punishment. If one has committed such forbidden act repentance and seeking God’s forgiveness would be sufficient for forgiveness.[2]

It should be noted that masturbation is one of the forbidden act which a person keeping fast must abstain. Ejaculation of the Semen, whether by masturbation, touching, kissing, rubbing (the male organ) on the thighs (of another person), or such other acts which are intended to cause discharge of semen. Rather even in case when the discharge of semen is not intended, but it was the usual consequence of the said act, in that case too it shall render the fast void. Of course, if ejaculation takes place without doing something which causes ejaculation in a person as a matter of his habit even without any intention on his part, it shall not render the fast void.[3]

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

Index: Rules concerning Janabat during night or day time in the month of Ramadan, answer 394.

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index:  Impermissibility of making Wudu after Ghusl, answer 035.

[1] . Tawzih al-masa’il (al-mohasha), vol 1, p 912, question 1627 . Ibid, p 914, question 1630.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding masturbation.

[3] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Chapter on Things Which Must Be Refrained in a Fast.

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Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan

Question 627: Is it necessary for a person to pass the niyyat for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day?

Answer 627: Intention (Niyyat) is a condition in fasting, so that a person intends to perform that ‘Ibãdat (devotional service) prescribed by Shari ah, and determines to keep himself away from all those things which invalidate it with the intention of obtaining closeness (to Allah).

If a person intends to abstain from all those things which vitiate a fast, but does not know that some of things have such effect, as, for example, enema, or considers that they have no such effect, but does not practice them, his fast shall be valid.

Similarly, if he intends to abstain from things which he knows are included among those which invalidate the fast, according to the stronger opinion, his fast shall be valid.

In a fast, after the intention of closeness to Allah and sincerity of purpose, there is no further condition in the intention except specifying the fast which one intends to keep in obedience to the command of Allah.

While keeping fast in the month of Ramadãn, it is sufficient to have the intention of keeping fast the next day without specifying it Rather, even if he has an intention of keeping fast other than of Ramadãn in that month due to negligence or forgetfulness, the fast shall be valid, and shall be counted among the fasts of Ramadan, contrary to the one who knows it, so that if he has such intention with knowledge, his fast shall be counted neither as a fast of Ramadãn nor otherwise.

According to the stronger opinion, it is indispensable in case of a fast for other than the month of Ramadàn to specify the particular category of the fast, such as for expiation, compensation or general vow (Nadhr) or a special vow.

It is sufficient to specify briefly, as when it is obligatory on him to keep a special category of fast, and he has the intention to keep fast which he owes, it would be sufficient.

Apparently there is no condition of any specification in a generally recommended fast, so that if a person has the intention of keeping fast the next day for the sake of Allah, it shall be valid, if it is the proper time for it, and the person be one for whom it is valid to keep fast voluntarily.

The same shall be the case if it were a specially recommended fast too, so that it is specified for a particular time, as the blank days (when there is no moon), Friday or Thursday.

Of course, in order to obtain a special reward, it is a condition that the person should keep fast at that particular day and with that special intention.[1]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: It is not necessary for a person to pass the niyyat for fasting through his mind or to say that he would be fasting on the following day. In fact, it is sufficient for him to decide that in obedience to the command of Allah he will not perform from the time of Adhan for Fajr prayers up to Maghrib, any act which may invalidate the fast. And in order to ensure that he has been fasting throughout this time he should begin abstaining earlier than the Adhan for Fajr prayers, and continue to refrain for some time after sunset from acts which invalidate a fast.

A person can make niyyat every night of the holy month of Ramadhan that he would be fasting on the following day, and it is better to make niyyat on the first night of Ramadhan that he would fast throughout that month.[2]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index: Fast in countries with long days, answer 106.

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Chapter on Intention (Niyyat); Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pgs. 881-905.

[2] . The Official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Fasting, Niyyat for Fasting.

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Fast in countries with long days

Question 106: As salaamu alaikum. How should Shi’ites who live so high up north on the planet fast in Ramadan? I mean the sun only sets for an hour and the sky stays bright the whole time, how/when to pray Isha and Fajr also?

Answer 106: The dignified religious authorities have different verdicts in this regard. There is no unanimity as to the fast in countries with long days. The issue is unconventional and based deduction.

Different jurists relying on the authoritative sources have given different answers. Some of them say that it is necessary for a person living in such places to act according to the timetable of a region that has ‘normal’ day and night hours. They are of the opinion that when it comes to abnormal subjects we must do what is normal in other places. There is no particular place which sets the standard for breaking fast.[1]

Some other jurisprudence say, “If a Muslim lives in a city where the days are abnormally long, it is still obligatory on him to fast and offer his prayers according to the horizon of his own place of residence, if he has the ability to do so. If he is not able to fast because the days are long or because fasting is unbearably difficult for him, in which case the obligation is forfeited and he should perform the qadhā later on. According to them, if you cannot fast at all due to such problems, the fast is not obligatory upon you, however, you have to make your missed fasts up later (E.g. in the winter).[2]

Sayyid Sistani (ha), says: 1. As for the first case, it is obligatory for a duty-bound [mukallaf] to move during the month of Ramadhan to a place with ‘normal’ day and night so that he can start fasting, if not, he should move after that month to fast as qadha (making up the missed fast).

  1. When it comes to the second scenario, in case the darkness recedes (decreases) little by little after sunset and then it starts increasing once again – be it after two or three hours –, when it starts increasing, it is then the starting time for fasting. And if the darkness or brightness presumably remains the same from the time of sunset until sunrise, the precaution is to take the middle point as the starting time for fasting and abstention from eating and drinking. The duty-bound can get rid of this precaution by moving to another city or place where regular dawn precedes sunrise. He should observe fast there or else he must go on a journey and observe the qadha of missed fast later.
  2. As for the third case, it is still obligatory on the duty-bound [mukallaf] to fast from dawn to dusk, if he has the ability to do so and if it does not put him to difficulty which is normally unbearable. He can also go on a journey so that he may not have to observe fast during the month but he will have to observe the qadha later. If fasting is not possible for him, he should either travel or should make niyyah of fasting at dawn and should abstain from eating and drinking until it becomes extremely difficult to fast in which case it is permissible to eat or drink at the time of extreme hunger and thirst, respectively, and the precaution is that he should suffice to the necessary amount (of food or water). He should continue fasting for the rest of the day, and he should also observe the qadha of that day after the month of Ramadhan and he will not be liable to any kaffara. God knows best.[3]

The late Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra) said: They must fast. If they cannot fast or there is a fear of harm for health, they can break their fast and give the Qaza later.[4]

Note: please, remember that if fasting is not unbearably difficult for you, but you can’t fast all day long you are able to fast according to the timetable of a region that has ‘normal’ day and night hours.

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

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Other Translation:

نمایه: روزه گرفتن و نماز خواندن در مناطقی که طول روز و شب زیاد است، سوال شماره 17

[1] . According to Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (ha).

[2] . According to Ayatollah Khamenei (ha).

[3] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules concerning Fasting and Long days.

[4] . The official website of the office of Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra), rules of Fasting.

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Ascribing lies to Allah and his Prophet while fasting

Question 113: I was wondering, I know that ascribing lies to Allah acc the infallible (a) breaks ones fast, but is this only if someone says it to someone else? For instance what if someone kept a journal only for himself during Ramadan and then it turned out something he wrote was incorrect, would this break his fast? What if he ascribed a lie intentionally by writing?

Jazak Allah

Answer 113: Ascribing lies to Allah (SWT) and His Prophet (pbuh) is one of the things which invalidate our fast.

If a person who is observing fast, intentionally ascribes something false to Allah, the Almighty and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his vicegerents (a.s.), verbally or in writing or by making a sign, his fast becomes void, even if he may at once retract and say that he has uttered a lie or may repent for it. And, as a recommended precaution, he should refrain from imputing lies to Bibi Fatema Zahra (a.s.) and all the Prophets and their successors.

If a person intentionally ascribes to Allah or the Holy Prophet or the successors of the Holy Prophet a falsehood fabricated by some other person, his fast becomes void. However, if he quotes the person who has fabricated that falsehood, his fast will not be affected.

As a result, if he wrote something false to Allah and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) while he is fasting, his fast becomes void. Otherwise, if he wrote it in other months (excluding the holy month of Ramadan or a day he is fasting), his fast doesn’t become void. He must only repent to Allah (SWT), with sincere repentance! Maybe his Lord will absolve him of his misdeeds.[1]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Fasting » Ascribing lies to Allah and His Prophet.

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Wisdom of placing the Holy Quran on our head

Question 112: What is the wisdom and narrations of placing the Holy Qur’an on top of your head? When are the appropriate times during the year to do this?

Answer 112: As we Shia follow the traditions of the Infallibles (as), we all follow whatever they have been told us in this regards.
Ali bin Yaqteen narrated from Imam Kadhim (as) that the Imam (as) said: “Take the holy Quran in your hand and place it on top of your head and then say:

اللَّهُمَّ بِحَقِّ مَنْ أَرْسَلْتَهُ إِلَى خَلْقِكَ وَ بِكُلِّ آيَةٍ هِيَ فِيهِ وَ بِحَقِّ كُلِّ مُؤْمِنٍ مَدَحْتَهُ فِيهِ وَ بِحَقِّهِ عَلَيْكَ وَ لَا أَحَدَ أَعْرَفُ بِحَقِّهِ مِنْكَ يَا سَيِّدِي يَا سَيِّدِي يَا سَيِّدِي

Then say “یا الله” (O Allah) for ten times, “بحق محمد” (by the right of Muhammad (pbuh)) ten times, and then continue saying each name of the Infallible Imams (pbuth) ten times. After all has been mentioned ten times, beg Allah whatever you want. So, Allah, the Almighty will grant all your wishes.

It is said (in traditional resources) that whenever you face any problems try to offer two Rakats, place the holy Quran on top of your head and mention the name of Allah (SWT), Holy Prophet (pbuh) and ahlul bayt (pbuth) ten times, so Allah. The Almighty will grant your wishes. [1]

While placing the qur’an on the head. Remind yourself that true salvation can only be achieved by always keeping the rules of qur’an ahead of us to follow. The fact that we put the Qur’an on our head is a sign of respect and reverence. We beseech Allah by the thaqalayn – the speaking and the silent Qur’an.[2] Pray for Aql/Intelligence to be Kamil (complete), it is Kashe (submits) to quran & acquires Noor (light) from it.

O Allah! I appeal to Thee in the name of this Qur’an and the Rooh that was sent along with it, and in the name of the Momin (believer) whose praise is contained in this Book and The obligation that is on them. No one else recognizes the right and truth more than Thee

Transliteration:

“Allaahumma be haqqe haazal Qur’an we be haqqe man arsaltahoo beh, Wa be haqqe kulle momenin madahtahoo feeh, we be haqqeka alaihim fa-laa ahada a’arafo be haqqeka mink”[3]

Note: There are no restrictions limiting the times of placing the holy Quran on top of our head. However, it is more recommended to do so during these holy Nights of Power (19th, 21st or 23rd or 27th night of Ramadan / or 15th night of Shaban).

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

Index: The sign of Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power, answer 065.

Index: Definition of Dua, Means and Intercession, answer 148.

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

[1] . Sheikh Hurr Ameli, Wasail al-Shia, Vol. 8, Pgs. 125-126; Sayid bin Tawoos, Radhi al-Din Ali, al- Al-Iqbāl bi l-aʿmāl al-hasanah, Vol. 1, Pg. 186-187.

[2] . Holy Qur’an (39:56).

[3] .Refer to: http://duas.org/.

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Fasting on Arafat Day / Mustahab Fast

Question 455: Salam alaikom. Is it compulsory to fast on the day of Arafah? Can you please tell us those days on which we have been strongly recommended to fast?

Answer 455: There are no restrictions limiting the times of fasting to a particular day, unless it is considered as haram on the day of Eid ul-Fitr and Qurban. It is recommended to fast on the Day of Arafa. But, if it is not possible for one to recite the Duas of ‘Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is considered as Makruh to fast on that day. [1]

In this regards, Imam Sadiq (as) says: Fasting on the Day of Arafat is regarded as Kaffarah of sins committed during two years.[2]

According to Sayyid Siatani (ha), fasting is Mustahab on every day of a year except those on which it is haraam or Makruh to observe a fast. Some of them which have been strongly recommended, are mentioned here:

The first and last Thursday of every month and the first Wednesday after the 10th of a month. If a person does not observe these fasts it is Mustahab that he gives their qadha. And if he is incapable of fasting, it is Mustahab for him to give one mudd of food or prescribed coined silver to poor. 13th, 14th and 15th day of every month. On all days of Rajab and Shaban or on as many days as it is possible to fast, even though it may be one day only. The day of Eid Nawroz. From the 4th up to the 9th of the month of Shawwal. The 25th and 29th day of the month of Zi qa’da. From the 1st day to the 9th day (i.e. ‘Arafa day) of the month of Zil hajj. But if, it is not possible for one to recite the Duas of ‘Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is Makrooh to fast on that day. The auspicious day of Ghadir (18th Zil hajj). The auspicious day of Mubahila (24th Zil hajj). The 1st, 3rd and 7th day of Muharram. The birthday of the Holy Prophet (17th Rabi’ul awwal). 15th day of Jumadi’ul oola.

Fasting is also recommended on 27th of Rajab – the day the Prophet (s.a.w.a.) declared his Prophethood. If a person observes a Mustahab fast, it is not obligatory on him to complete it. In fact, if one of his brethren-in-faith invites him to a meal, it is Mustahab that he accepts the invitation and breaks the fast during the day time even if it may be after Zuhr.[3]

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

Index: The Virtues of the Day of Arafat, answer 155.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/568393083312003/

Index:  Fasting in the holy month of Dhilhijjah and Muharram, answer 137.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/AskShia/permalink/571098903041421/?hc_location=ufi

https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/569401499877828/)

Related Link: Facebook

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules concerning Fasting, issue #1757.

[2] . Man La Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Vol. 2, Pg. 87.

[3] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Fasting.

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The sign of Laylatul Qadr, the Night of Power

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr

Question 384: Salam Alaikum! There is someone who lives in Stockholm and they work there too. But they decided during The Month Of Ramadhan to live outside the city, which that city is 50 km aways from Stockholm .But I know they can fast if they travel after Salat Aldhur ; here is the question, will the traveler’s Salat be Qasar or tamam?

My Marja: Ayatollah Al-Udhma Sayed Ali Al-Sistani

Answer 384: If they travel after Dhuhr (noon) their fast is treated as valid. If they have decided to stay in that city for 10 days they would have to offer their prayers tamam and fast till they are there for 10 days. Otherwise, they should offer their prayers Qasr and not to fast other days in this state.

According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), if a fasting person travels after Zuhr, he should, as a precaution, complete his fast. If he travels before Zuhr and had an intention from the previous night to do so, he cannot fast on that day. As a precaution, he cannot fast on that day even if he had no intention to travel from the previous night. In both the cases, he cannot break the fast till he has reached the limit of Tarakkhus. If he does, he will be liable to give Kaffarah.

If a traveller in the month of Ramadhan, regardless of whether he was travelling before Fajr, or was fasting and then undertook the journey, reaches his hometown before Zuhr or a place where he intends to stay for ten days, and if has not committed an act which invalidates a fast, he should fast on that day. But if he has committed such an act, it is not obligatory on him to fast on that day.

If after covering a distance which would add up to make 8 farsakh on return, the traveller abandons the journey, and if he decides to remain at that place, or to return after 10 days, or is undecided about returning or staying there, he should offer full prayers.

If a person abandons the journey after reaching a distance which would add up to make 8 farsakh on return, and decides to return, he should offer shortened prayers even if he wants to stay there for less than 10 days.

For the shar’i distance needed to travel in order for one’s prayer to become shortened, the fuqaha (Jurisprudents) have various rulings. Some say the distance necessary is approximately 22.5 kilometers.[1] Others say that the distance is approximately 21.5 kilometers.[2] Another group says that it is approximately 22 kilometers.[3]

A Farsakh is equal to three miles, while a mile is equal to four thousand cubits, whose length is equal to the breadth of twenty four fingers, and each finger is equal to the width of seven grains of barley, and each barley is equal to the breadth of seven average hair of a Turkish horse (or a pony). If the distance is less than that, even if to a minimal extent, the person on journey shall offer unreduced prayer.[4]

Note: A traveler for whom it is obligatory to shorten a four Rak’ats prayers to two Rak’ats, should not fast. However, a traveler who offers full prayers, like, a person who is a traveler by profession or who goes on a journey for a haram purpose, should fast while travelling.[5]

[1] Imam Khomeini, Ayatullahs Bahjat, Khamenei, Fadhil Lankarani, Safi and Nouri. Tawdhihul-Masa’el (of Marja’s), vol. 1, issue 1272.

[2] Makarem Shirazi, Tawzihul-Masa’el (of Maraji’), vol. 1, pg. 684.

[3] Tabrizi, Sistani and Vahid Khorasani, Minhajul-Salehin, issue 884.

[4] . The Official Website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Prayers of a traveller » Prayers of a traveller (Musafir) & Fasting by a traveler; Tahrir al-Wasila of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Chapter on a Traveler’s Prayers and its Relevant Rules.

[5] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Fasting » Fasting by a traveller.

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Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast

Question 575: Does using an asthma inhaler break your fast? It’s a puff of medicine that you breathe into your lungs.

Answer 575: Since, the puffer uses a compressed gas that is used by the patient, which reaches the lungs via the trachea to expand the lungs, is not food or drink or anything resembling them there would be no problem for a person observing fast to use asthma inhaler during the day. His fast is not broken by using this kind of medicine, according to all maraja’.[1]

Note: There are many kinds of medication for asthma, some of which invalidate the fast and some do not. The most well-known of these medicines and treatments are puffers, oxygen, vaporizers and capsules that do not break the fast.

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 892, Issue: 1576; Ibid, Pg. 893, Sistani; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Dialogue on miscellaneous issues.

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Rules concerning Janabat during the holy month of Ramadan

Question 394: What is the ruling on Ehtelam in Ramadan? If a person doesn’t perform ghusal before Imsak then what about the Fasting? And if a person is taking a nap afternoon, and something like this (2-3 drops not sperms) happens, what is he supposes to do, is ghusal wajib on him? and what about that fasting, is it makrooh, haram, batil? A friend needs help 🙂 Jurisprudent: Ayatollah Sayed Khamenai or Sistani I guess.

Answer 394: If a person enters the state of Janabat during a night in the month of Ramadhan, and does not take Ghusl intentionally till the time left before Adhan is short, he/she should perform tayammum and observe the fast. However, it is a recommended precaution that its qadha is also given.

If a person in Janabat in the month of Ramadhan forgets to take Ghusl and remembers it after one day, he should observe the qadha of the fast of that day. And if he remembers it after a number of days he should observe the qadha of the fasts of all those days, during which he is certain to have been in Janabat. For example, if he is not sure whether he was in Janabat for three days or four, he should observe the qadha of three days.

If a person who does not have time for Ghusl or performing tayammum in a night of Ramadhan gets into state of Janabat, his fast will be void and it will be obligatory upon him to give qadha of that fast, as well as Kaffarah.

If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.

If a person investigates whether or not he has enough time at his disposal, and believing that he has time for Ghusl, goes into state of Janabat and when he learns later that actually the time was short, he performs tayammum, his fast will be in order. And if he presumes without any investigation that he has enough time at his disposal and gets into Janabat and when he learns later that the time was short, keeps the fast with tayammum, he should, as a recommended precaution, observe the qadha of that fast.

When a person in Janabat goes to sleep in a night of Ramadhan and then wakes up, the obligatory precaution is that if he is not sure about waking up again, he should not go to sleep before Ghusl, even if he has a faint hope that he might wake up before Fajr if he sleeps again.

If a person in Janabat in the night of Ramadhan feels certain that if he goes to sleep he will wake up before the time of Fajr prayers, and is determined to do Ghusl upon waking up, and oversleeps with that determination till the time of Fajr prayers, his fast will be in order. And the same rule applies to a person who, though not absolutely certain, is hopeful about waking up before the time of Fajr prayers.

Ihtilam During Day Time: If a person observing fast becomes Mohtalim during day time, it is not obligatory on him to do Ghusl at once.

When a person wakes up in the month of Ramadhan after the Fajr prayers and finds that he has become Mohtalim his fast is in order, even if he knows that he became Mohtalim before the Fajr prayers.

Note: There are three characteristics of semen as follows: 1) A sticky liquid that smells like dough. 2) Its color is milky with a hint of either green or yellow. 3) It is ejaculated when orgasm is reached, after which the body feels relaxed.

There must exist three characteristics for it to be called semen. They are: Sexual desire, ejaculation, and resultant relaxation of the body. In sick people, however, sexual desire is sufficient. So, if you saw the drops (as you are sure it is not sperm) that has not the above mentioned sings of the three characteristics it would not regarded as sperm and then no need to perform Jinabat ghusl. As a result, your fast is in order.

When one cannot ascertain whether the fluid emitted from one’s body is semen, urine or something else, it will be treated as semen if it is thrown out with lust and if the body is slackened. If all or some of these signs are not present the fluid will not be treated as semen. In the case of illness, the fluid may not come out with sudden swiftness and the body may not slacken; but if the emission takes place with lust, it will be treated as semen.

So, if he becomes sure the drop is semen or any other najas thing the clothes is treated as impure. Otherwise, it is considered as clean. As a result, if it is not semen performing ghusl is not obligatory upon him.[1]

For further information regarding Kaffarah, please refer to the following answer:

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

[1] . Official Website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Fasting, Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till Fajr time;  Ayatollah Khamenei (ha), Ajwabat al-Istiftaat, Q 180; Ibid, Istiftaat, rules concerning Jinaba ghusl, Q 177, Pg. 229.

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Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam

Question 196: If a person reverts to Islam and they were unaware of fasting during their first Ramadan and missed the obligatory fasting, what should be done? Should they make up the fasts (qada) and pay kaffarah or can they just pay the kaffarah?

Answer 196: If it was not done deliberately and willingly there would be no obligatory on him to give Kaffarah. He must observe the Qada only. Because, commission of the things which invalidate fast are a cause of expiation in the same way as they make it obligatory to compensate for it, when it is done deliberately and willingly without any coercion.

According to Ayatollah Sistani (ha), it is obligatory on him to observe the Qada only.[1]

If an unbeliever becomes Muslim, it is not obligatory on him to offer qada for the fasts of the period during which he was an unbeliever. However, if a Muslim apostatises and becomes Muslim again, he must observe qadha for the fasts of the period during which he remained an apostate.[2]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

[1] . Tawzihul Masael of maraja, Vol. 1, Pg. 891, question 1572; Tahrirul Wasilah of Imam Khomeni (English version), Pg. 324; This question has been asked the Office of Sayyid Sistani (ha) by AskIslam.ir.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Rules regarding the Qadha fasts.

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How to Repent from Sins committed in the month of Ramadan

Question 139: I have done a very bad sin in the month of Ramadan. I went to the masjid for fajr on drugs. Everyone knew I was high. How do I repent from this sin and how do I stay on the straight path?

Answer 139: There are several aspects to your question that need to be addressed including the following:

  • Method of Repentance
  • Medical Issues of Addiction
  • Issues Related to Fasting
  • Public vs. Private Sins
  • The Issue of Hopelessness

Method of Repentance: There are some elements necessary to achieve repentance. One of the methods is knowledge. “…those of His servants only who are possessed of knowledge fear Allah Surely Allah is Mighty, Forgiving.”[1]

Realization of the serious sinful nature of intoxication and its consequences is an important element. Substance abuse is particularly dangerous to one’s soul because it can lead to a host of other sins, lead to bad deeds becoming more fair-seeming, afflict one’s ability to feel the weight of ones sins, and contribute to hopelessness in Allahs (swt) mercy. Imam Al-Ridha (as) said, “Allah (swt) forbade the drinking of wine, since it causes corruption, disturbance and intoxication of the mind and becomes the cause of all the sins including: murdering, falsely accusing chaste woman of adultery, committing adultery, lessening abstinence, and refraining from forbidden deeds.[2]

Consuming intoxicants is mentioned as one of the greater sins, “They ask you about intoxicants and the games of chance. Say, in both of them there is a great sin and means of profit for men, and their sin is greater than their profit.”[3]

Another method is regret or remorse, as it states in the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt) says, “And He it is who accepts repentance from His servants and pardons the evil deeds and He knows what you do”.[4] Another method is a strong will and intention. Imam Ja’far as-Sadiq (as) said, “A man never gets weak if he is strengthened with a firm intention (will).”[5]

Another method is doing extraordinary good deeds which cause forgiveness of bad deeds. Just as it states in the holy Quran, “And keep up prayer in the two parts of the day and in the first hours of the night. Surely good deeds take away evil deeds. This is a Reminder to the mindful.”[6]

To set these elements in place, one must continually work for and pray for his/her increase in correct knowledge of the straight path. Upon realizing one’s sin one should feel sincere regret and remorse over the action, not just in getting caught at it, and one should make a clear intention, resolve and plan to reform.

Once someone said in front of Imam Ali (as), “Astaghfirullah” (I ask Allah’s forgiveness), then Imam Ali (as) said, “Your mother may lose you! Do you know what ‘istighfar’ (asking Allah’s forgiveness) is?”[7]

‘Astighfar’ is meant for people of a high position. It is a word that stands on six meanings:

To repent over the past.

To make a firm determination never to revert to it.

  • To discharge all the rights of the people so that you may meet Allah quite clean with nothing to account for.
  • To fulfill every obligatory act which you ignored (in the past) so that you may now do justice with it.
  • To aim at the flesh grown as a result of unlawful earning, so that you may melt it by grief (of repentance) till the skin touches the bone and a new flesh grows between them.
  • To make the body taste the pain of obedience as you (previously) made it taste the sweetness of disobedience. On such occasion you may say: ‘astaghfirullah’.[8]

Medical Issues of Addiction: In the case of drug abuse, in addition to sincere repentance, one may have another issue to address. Several substances commonly abused by drug users may cause addiction. Addiction can be very powerful and may in some cases not be addressed through strength of will alone. One who is sincerely resolved to quit drug abuse may need to pursue medical and/or psychological assistance to achieve success. Without knowing individual details of this case, it is not possible to recommend particular resources but only to suggest that they might be needed. If such steps are needed, fulfilling them would be a necessary part of true and successful repentance.

Issues Related to Fasting: There may be concern about the validity of one’s fasts when under the influence of a drug. If a person eats or drinks something during the time period of fasting, this breaks one’s fast and requires both Qada (making up the fast) and kaffarah:

If a person eats or drinks something intentionally, while being conscious of fasting, his fast becomes void.[9]

In the following situations, both Qada and Kaffarah become obligatory, provided these acts are committed intentionally, voluntarily and without any force or pressure, during the fasts of Ramadan: (i) Eating and (ii) Drinking. If one committed such acts but didn’t know the rules concerning those acts which void his\her fast there would be no need to pay Kaffarah.

Making his\her fast up is sufficient in this matter. (Note: if one was able to know and learn the rule but didn’t, one must compensate and pay Kaffarah as well, according to Ayatollah Sistani (ha).

The kaffarah of leaving out a fast of Ramadan is to: (a) free a slave, or (b) fast for two months or (c) feed sixty poor to their fill (or give one mudd 3/4 kg.) of food-stuff, like wheat or barley or bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to fulfill any of these, he should give sadaqa according to his means and seek divine forgiveness. And the obligatory precaution is that he should give Kaffarah when he is capable to do so.[10]

If a person breaks his fast with something haram, whether it is haraam in itself, like wine or adultery or has become haram due to some reason, such as any food which is normally permissible but it is injurious to his health, or if he has sexual intercourse with his wife during haidth, he will have to observe all three Kaffarah, as a recommended precaution. It means that he should set free a slave, fast for two months and also feed sixty poor to their fill, or give one mudd of wheat, barley, bread etc. to each of them. If it is not possible for him to give all the three Kaffarah, he should perform any one of Kaffarah which he can possibly give.

Islamic Laws / Smoking during the time of fasting: It is an obligatory precaution not to allow the smoke of cigarettes and tobacco and the like to reach the throat while fasting.

Ayatullah Khamenei: As an obligatory precaution, smoking isn’t permissible while fasting.

Ayatullah Makarem Shirazi: It is an obligatory precaution that one who is fasting abstains from smoking cigarettes and all tobacco products, in addition to not allowing thick smoke reach his throat. Going to the shower where there is steam is okay.

Ayatullah Bahjat: The fast not being broken by dust or smoke that isn’t thick, isn’t a substitute for food and isn’t tonic, isn’t devoid of reason, although abstaining is ahwat (in accordance with precaution).

Ayatullah Nouri: The fasting individual must abstain from thick steam that changes back to liquid in the mouth and also, as per obligatory precaution, must not allow the smoke of cigarettes and tobacco products and the like to reach his throat.

Ayatullah Zanjani: In the holy month of Ramadan, smoking and using tobacco products openly in a way that is disrespectful to the fast is impermissible, and if it isn’t disrespectful, it is still impermissible as per precaution. In the case of an individual smoking, he should still abstain from all other invalidators of the fast until Iftar, and also must perform the Qada (make up for) that day.[11]

Ayatollah Sistani: Smoking during the time of fasting invalidates the fast. Injections do not necessarily break one’s fast unless the substance being injected is in place of food, for hydration, or is in itself the intoxicant.

Keeping all this in mind, if the drug was consumed during the period of fasting, it is possible that the fast was voided and Qada and Kaffarah may be called for. If the drug was consumed during the night, it is possible the fast is still in order unless ones intoxication resulted in something else that voids one’s fast. If one has questions about a specific case, a follow-up question may help clarify.

Public vs. Private Sins: Committing a sin in public can be of particular concern if it contributes to corruption of others. If one is inviting others to join in the sin, this is a further sin upon the first sin. Although the drug was not consumed publicly, being under its influence publicly provides evidence of the sin to others. Absent the condition of other persons knowing of the sin, then the public sin is the same as a private sin.

It is important to remember that Allah (swt) is Omnipresent and we cannot in truth, hide our sins. We should be more concerned about Allah (swt) witnessing our sins. We must strive to increase dhikr (remembrance) of God at all times, and remember that it is His opinion that matters, not the opinion of people. Good deeds performed so that others will notice are of little benefit and sometimes even harmful to one’s soul. In some cases where people are more concerned about the opinion of other people, instead of God’s, this can be a form of shirk (polytheism).

The Issue of Hopelessness: Hopelessness or despair can often be associated with addiction or drug abuse because of the great effects it has on one’s soul and the difficulties many experience in conquering it. It is known as the second greatest sin after polytheism. Amirul-Mu’minin (as) said to the man who was prevailed by despair of God’s mercy out of his many sins, “You, to despair of the mercy of Allah is the greatest sin that you have ever committed.”[12] “…and despair not of Allah’s Mercy; surely none despairs of Allah’s Mercy except the unbelieving people.”[13]

In conclusion, we have tried to address in detail the question, how to repent and avoid such a situation in the future and include resources for further assistance.

In some situations, some outside help may be necessary to overcome drug, alcohol, and tobacco addiction, in addition to the spiritual and repentance measures that must be taken, for the sake of your soul and Allahs (swt) pleasure. There might also be some underlying psychological issues stemming from either clinical or situational depression or other issues with mental health, in which case a licensed professional could be utilized to deal with those underlying issues. You will be able to find such help in your local areas by the suggestion or referral of your primary care physician.

Warding off Bad Thoughts: The relationship is always mutual. Our relationship with God is sometimes severed and cut off or tend to become weak; but He is always everywhere with us. God, the Exalted says, “And He is with you wheresoever ye may be. And Allah sees well all that ye do.”[14] Hence, if our connection with God becomes weak, we must look for the cause or setback. It has been said that the best way to get friendly with someone is to be in touch with them more often. Psychologically, this point has been considered to be undeniable and without a shred of doubt.

We must try to find what has created a distance between us and God. Sometimes arrogance, haughtiness, jealousy, feeling of needlessness and other sins which originate in the mind, create a distance between us and God. That is to say, the thinking power has been paralyzed in the sense that it cherishes only bad thoughts. Sometimes, some sins are committed by organs and limbs causing an obstruction (barrier) between us and God.

As you have stated in your message, it is likely that your separation from God may originate in those thoughts. Since, there is a thought behind every action, and an action beyond knowledge, we should control the mind and not let everything enter it. Although such an action seems to be difficult, the results are very positive.

Sometimes, the thoughts that enter the mind come from the Shaitan which should be warded off and repelled immediately because they force man into action. God, the Exalted says, “And most surely the Shaitans suggest to their friends that they should contend with you.”[15] Therefore, one should prevent satanic thoughts from entering his mind.

One of the biggest and most important factors that leads man away from God and causes him to become negligent are unwanted memories.”[16]

Some of these ungodly memories have so much influence on the individual that he loses his concentration amid performing the best act of worship i.e. prayer. It is therefore necessary to prevent the growth and development of such memories. The memories develop gradually as a result of talking and speaking with someone, listening, being in some gatherings, reading some magazines etc. When they get profuse and accumulated, they create some sort of enthusiasm. Finally, they become part of a man’s secondary habit coming easily to his mind and causing him to be oblivious of God. For this reason, those who have a materialistic mindset are constantly seeking worldly pleasures.[17]

As was said earlier, it is necessary to prevent such thoughts from entering the mind and one should endeavor to ward off those thoughts that are coming to his mind. The Qur’an gives a solution; (one should guard himself against evil things and remember God. He should be careful as to where he goes, what he reads, listens, eats and wears. When he takes care of all these, gradually, zikr (remembrance) of God will be instilled in his heart and thereupon, good memories will be formed in his mind. For this reason, the Qur’an suggests “remembering God” as a way for coming out of negligence and for seeking proximity to the Truth).[18]

God, the Exalted says, “O you who believe! Remember Allah with much remembrance.[19] When remembrance increases in one’s heart, he starts to get interested in Him and this interest becomes his secondary habit so much that he remembers God in all situations.

Having said that, one should, therefore, pave the way for purifying and cleansing his heart and mind from bad memories and from impurities by remembering God and preventing the evil influences of negative and tormenting thoughts.

Note: Some of the answers have adapted (with a lot of changes have been made on) from:

http://www.al-islam.org/;

http://www.islamic-laws.com/;

http://muharram-blog.blogspot.com/2015/10/islam-and-importance-of-intention.html;

http://www.narconon.org/;

http://www.aa.org/;

https://nicotine-anonymous.org/.

[1] . Holy Qur’an, 35:28.

[2] . Wasail-Shia – Volume 17, Page 22.

[3] . Surah al-Baqarah 2:219; Refer to the book of Ayatollah Dastghaib wrote about this in detail, Vol. 1&2.

[4] . Surah Shoura, verse 25.

[5] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 67, Pg. 211; Biharul Anwar, Vol. 67, Pg. 205, hadith 14.

[6] . Surah Hud, verse 114.

[7] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 93, Pg. 285.

[8] . “الجنة محفوفة بالمکاره و جهنم محفوفة باللذات و الشهوات” Wasa’ilul-Shia, vol. 15, pg. 309, section 42 (the section that speaks of refraining from haram desires and pleasures).

[9] . Tawzihul Masael of maraja, Vol. 1, Pg. 891, Q 1572.

[10] . Tawzihul Masael of maraja, Vol. 1, Pg. 931.

[11] . (Araki, Golpaygani, Khu’i, Fazel, Tabrizi, Sistani, Safi) the rest of the issue hasn’t been mentioned; Ajwibatul-Istifta’at (in Farsi), inquiries 744 and 760; Tawdihul-Masa’el (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 903, issue 1605.

[12] . Al-Mahjatul baida’i, Vol. 7, Pg. 253.

[13] . Surah Yūsuf 12:87.

[14] . Surah Al-Hadid, verse 4.

[15] . Surah An’am, verse 121.

[16] . Javadi Amuli, Abdullah, Stages of Morality in Quran, pg.30.

[17] . Ibid, pg.32, with minor modifications.

[18] . Stages of Morality in Quran, pg.34 and 35.

[19] . Surah Al-Ahzab, verse 41.

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Zakat of Fitrah, Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies)

Question 045: What is Zakat al-Fitrah and on whom its payment is obligatory? Can you also please let me know the commodity for, and the quantity of and the time when Zakãt of Fitrah becomes obligatory Zakät?

Brief Answer 045: At the time of sunset on Eid ul fitr night (i.e. the night preceding Eid day), whoever is adult and sane and is neither unconscious, nor poor, nor the slave of another, he should give, on his own behalf as well as on behalf of all those who are his dependents, about three kilos per head of wheat or barley or dates or raisins or rice or millet etc. It is also sufficient if he pays the price of one of these items in cash. As per obligatory precaution, he should not give from that food which is not staple in his place, even if it be wheat, barley, dates or raisins.[1]

Detailed Answer 045: Zakãt al-Abdan (or Zakãt of Bodies) is also called Fitrah. There are several traditions that have come down on this subject. Here are a few of them.

  1. ‘Who so ever fails to pay Zakãt-i Fitrah runs the risk of meeting (an early) death.”[2]
  2. Verily, Zakãt-i Fitrah complements Fasting in the same way as the Salavat on the Prophet (May Allah send Blessings on him and his Progeny) complements Prayers.[3]

Now, we shall discuss about those on whom its payment is obligatory, its commodity, its quantity, its time and its uses.

Those on Whom Payment of Zakat-i Fitrah is Obligatory:

1:The payment of Zakãt-i Fitrah is obligatory on a person who is Mukallaf, free and rich, in deed or virtually. So it is obligatory neither on a minor, nor on a lunatic, even if he has fits of lunacy periodically, in case he has had a fit of lunacy on the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr). It is also not obligatory on their guardian (or Wali) to pay the Fitrah on their behalf out of their property. Rather, according to the stronger opinion, there is exemption from its payment as regards its payment for a minor or a lunatic even by the person who maintains a minor or a lunatic. Nor is its payment obligatory on one who has been unconscious on the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr). Nor is it obligatory on a slave. Nor is it obligatory on a poor person who has no expenses for himself and his family sufficient for the whole year, indeed and virtually, as a surplus after deducting the debts and other exemptions. It is more cautious to take into consideration the debts the person has to pay during the current year and others. Of course, according to the more cautious opinion, if a person has something surplus from the expenses of a day and night even to the extent of a Sã (a cubic measure of varying magnitude = about 3 kilos), it would be better for him to pay the Fitrah. Rather it is approved even for a poor person to pay the Fitrah in all circumstances even if he revolves a single Sa’ throughout the members of his family until it comes back to himself, and then he should pay it to a stranger (poor person). This is the rule when there is no non-Mukallaf person among the members of his family, otherwise, he should confine the revolving process of the Sä among the Mukallaf members of his family only. If a Wali (or guardian) receives Fitrah from a non-Mukallaf, he should spend it on him alone and none else, and it is not to be paid to anyone else.

2: It is a condition that the above conditions should be there at the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr) i.e., before the beginning of the night even if for a moment, in a way that the person should fulfill all the conditions when the night falls, so that it is not sufficient to possess these qualifications earlier but losing it as the night falls. Likewise, it is not sufficient if a person did not fulfill these conditions earlier, but happens to fulfill them afterwards. So the payment of Fitrah shall be obligatory on a person, for example, who attains the legal maturity (or Bulugh) at the time of the nightfall or he recovers of his lunacy. But it would not be obligatory on a person who attains legal maturity after the fall of night, or one who recovers of his lunacy. Of course, it would be approved to pay the Fit rah if a person attains legal maturity or recovers of his lunacy before noon on the day of (Eid al-Fitr).

3: Payment of Fitrah for himself and for those who are maintained by him is obligatory on person who fulfils all the conditions mentioned above, regardless whether the person maintained is a Muslim or an infidel, free or slave, minor or adult, including even a child born before the sight of the moon for the month of Shawwâl even for a moment. Similarly, everyone who enters the list of persons maintained by him before the sight of the moon for the month of Shawwàl including even a guest, although he may have not eaten anything (in his house), provided he falls under the persons maintained by him, although he may not be treated as a member of his family, contrary to a child born after the sunset. The same rule shall apply to a person who is included among the persons maintained by him after the sunset, so that he shall not be bound to pay their Fitrah. Of course, payment of Fitrah by him for them shall be approved if what is mentioned above takes place before noon on the day of Eid (al-Fitr)

4: A person the payment of whose Fitrah has become obligatory on another person due to his becoming the latter’s guest or being included among those maintained by him shall himself be exempted from its payment, even if he happens to be a rich person and would have fulfilled all the conditions required for the payment of Fitrah had he not been included among those maintained by the other person. Rather, according to the stronger opinion, payment of Fitrah shall be exempted if the host or one having the liability of maintenance happens to be poor while the guests were rich. According to the stronger opinion, the guest should himself pay the Fitrah if he comes to know that the host has not paid it due to forgetfulness or deliberate violation (of the relevant rule), though, according to the stronger opinion, it shall not be obligatory on him to pay his own Fitrah. According to the stronger opinion, payment of Fitrah is obligatory on the guest if he does not fall under the category of those maintained by the host, but the host should not give up caution by also paying the Fitrah for such guest in addition to the one paid by the guest.

5: If a person is away from his family, it shall be obligatory on him to make the payment of the Fitrah for the members of his family, except when he has authorized them to pay it from his own property and they can be relied upon in the matter of payment (of the Fitrah).

6: Apparently the criterion for being a member of one’s family is being included among those maintained by that person and not among those whom he is liable to maintain, though it is to be more cautious to take into consideration either of the two aspects. If the permanent wife of a person is included among those maintained by another, payment of the Fitrah shall be obligatory on that person, and not on her. If the wife does not fall under those who are to be maintained by any one else, payment shall be obligatory on herself provided that she fulfills all the relevant conditions. In case she does not fulfill the relevant conditions, payment of her Fitrah shall not be obligatory on any person. The same rule shall apply to the case of a slave.

7: If a person is to be maintained by two persons, payment of his Fitrah shall be the liability of both, provided that they are capable to do so. In case only one of them is able to maintain the person, it shall be obligatory to pay the Fitrah of his share to the exclusion of that of the other. Caution must not be given up in both the cases.

8: The receipt of Fitrah of a non-Hãshemite by a Hàshemite is forbidden, the criterion in this case being the maintainer and not the person maintained. It is more cautious to observe caution in both the cases.

9: Like all the other cases of Ibädät, in Fitrah too, Niyyat is essential. It is permissible for a person on whom payment of Fitrah is obligatory to pay the Fitrah personally or authorize another to make its payment on his behalf. In such case, it is indispensable for the agent to make the

Niyyat of closeness (to Allah). If the principal authorizes another merely to take the Fitrah to the poor, the former shall be bound to have the Niyyat that what his agent is taking to the poor is the Zakãt (of Fitrah). It is sufficient to have such Niyyat in his heart, and it is not obligatory to bring it to his memory in detail. It is also permissible for a person to authorize another to make the payment of the Fitrah from his own property, and get its payment from him, so that the latter becomes an agent in payment of something from the property of his client. It is also permissible to authorize another to make payment of his Fitrah from his own property voluntarily without demanding its payment from him. Of course, there is difficulty in the permissibility of payment of Fitrah for another voluntarily without being authorized by that person to do so as his agent.

The Commodity for the Zakät of Fitrah:

1: The general rule for the commodity of the Zakãt of Fitrah is what is usually used for food in each community or area, though they may not suffice with it, as wheat, barley and rice used in most of the parts of Iran and Iraq, rice most of the areas of Gilan and its suburbs, dates, cheese and yoghurt are used in Nejd and the plains of Hijãz, though, according to the stronger opinion, it is permissible to pay the Fitrah in the form of (any of) the four grains in all circumstances. If in an area the staple food is maize or the like, it is permissible to pay the Fitrah in the form of maize, as also it is permissible to pay it in the form of (any of) the four grains. In case a particular grain is not the staple food of an area, it is more cautious to pay Fitrah in the form of the four grains. It is also permissible to pay Fitrah in value of the commodity. There is, however, difficulty in the permissibility of the payment of Fitrah in the form of anything else that is not of the same commodity in value; rather, it is not far from being insufficient. It is also a condition to take into consideration the time of payment and the place at the time of paying the value of the commodity of Fitrah

2: It is also a condition in whatever is paid as Fitrah that it must be sound and without any defect, so that it is not permissible to pay it in the form of anything defective, as also it is not permissible to pay it in the form of a commodity mixed with something pardonable. Rather there is difficulty in the permissibility of paying something defective and mixed in value for something sound without defect and unmixed.

3: It is preferable to pay the Fitrah in the form of dates and then in the form of raisins (or currants). Preference is given to the more useful in consideration of the external preferences, as, in case the staple food of a person is wheat of superior quality, it is preferable for him to pay Fitrah also in the form of wheat of a superior quality and not of a lower quality, or in the form of barley.

The Quantity of Zakât of Fitrah:

The quantity of Zakàt of Fitrah is a Sã in case of each foodstuff, including even yoghurt. A Sa = 4 Mudds, which are equal to 9 Iraqi Ratls and 6 Medenese Ratis These 4 Mudds are equal to 614 1/4 Sayrafi Mithqäls. According to the Hiqqah of Najaf, which is equal to 933 1/3 Mithqals, it amounts to 1/2 Hiqqah, 1/2 Waqiyyah (a Waqiyyah being equal to 1/2 Ratl) and 31 Mithqäls minus two grams; while according to the Hiqqah of Istanbul, which is equal to 280 Mithqàls, it amounts to 2 Hiqqahs, 3/4 Waqiyyah and I 3/4 Mithqàls. According to the Shàhi Maund, which is equal to 1280 Mithqals, it amounts to 1/2 Maund minus 25 3/4 Mithqãls. According to the current measure in Kilograms, a Sa = about 3 Kilograms.

The Time When Zakãt of Fitrah Becomes Obligatory:

The time when payment of Fitrah becomes obligatory is the beginning of the night of Eid (al-Fitr) and continues till the noon (of Eid al-Fitr). It is preferable, rather more cautious, to delay the payment of Fitrah upto the day of Eid (al-Fitr). If a person offers the prayers of Eid (al-Fitr) he must not give up the caution by taking out the Zakãt of Fitrah before (offering) his prayers. If the time of payment of the Fitrah has already and he has set aside Fitrah, he must pay it to the person entitled to receive it. In case a person has not already set aside the Fitrah, then, according to the more cautious opinion, its payment shall not drop, and he should make its payment with the intention of seeking closeness (to Allah) without intending the payment being made on its due time or compensatory after the lapse of the due time.

1: It is not permissible to tender the Fitrah before the month of Ramadan, rather, according to the more cautious opinion, in all circumstances. Of course, there is no objection in its payment to a poor person and then accounting it for as Fitrah on the arrival of its time.

2: It is permissible to set aside Fitrah and specify it in the property of special commodities or set aside its value in cash. It is more cautious, rather more according to the guiding principles to confine to cash while setting aside the value of the commodity. If a person sets aside less than what is required, the rule shall be exclusively meant for that part, and the rest, shall remain unseparated. If a person sets aside more than required, then in setting it aside until the separated part is mixed with that belonging to Zakãt of Fitrah, there is difficulty. If, however, a person specifies the Zakãt of Fitrah in a property that is jointly owned by the master and another person, and his portion in it is equal to or less than Zakat, then apparently Zakât may be set aside in this way. If the time for the payment of Zakät of Fitrah has lapsed, but the person has set aside the Zakãt on its due time, it would be permissible for him to delay its payment to the person entitled to receive it, particularly in consideration of some preferences, though he shall be liable in case it is destroyed despite his capacity to pay it and the availability of the person entitled to receive it. On the contrary, if he were not capable, he shall not be held liable except in case of transgression of the rules or omission in the safeguard of the commodity like all other things deposited in trust.

3: lt is more cautious not to shift the commodity specified as Zakãt of Fitrah from one place to another when the person entitled to receive it is also there.

The Uses of Zakãt of Fitrah:

According to the stronger opinion, the uses of Zakãt of Fitrah are identical with those of the Zakat for property, though according to the more cautious opinion, it should be confined to payment to poor Mu’mins (i.e. Shi’ahs) and their children, rather the indigent among them, even if they are not morally sound. It is also permissible to pay the Fitrah to the Mustad’afs (i.e. those who have been rendered weak or poor) from among the opponents (i.e. the Sunnis) in case of unavailability of the Mu’mins (i.e. the Shi’ahs).

It is more cautious not pay to the poor less than a Sa (which is equal to about 3 Kilograms) or its value, even if the number of the poor is such that distributing the Fitrah to all of them in that way is not possible.

It is also permissible to pay several Sa’s (of Fitrah) to a single poor person, father even up to the extent of his yearly expenses.

According to the more cautious opinion Fitrah should not be paid or received more than required for the yearly expenses (of a poor person).

It is approved to pay Fitrah exclusively to the Dhawi al-Arham (relatives on the maternal side), neighbors, those who have migrated from their native places for the sake of (Islamic) faith, jurists, intellectuals, etc. who possess some preferences, and caution must not be given up by not paying Fitrah to one who drinks wine or commits such major sins in public.

It is not permissible to pay Fitrah to a person who spends it in the commission of a sin.[4]

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

[2] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 96, Pg. 109.

[3] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 6, Pg. 221.

[4] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, rules concerning ZAKAT OF BODIES (OR FITRAH).

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studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting

Question 572: Is it permissible for a student who has to attend his classes in the month of Ramadhan and also has important exams in this month, not to fast in order to better concentrate on his studies and during the exams?

Answer 572: Attending your classes and studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting. Of course, if one is left with one of the two options i.e. he should attend his class or observe fast and that not attending his classes will put him into such difficulty that is not bearable normally, he should make niyyah of fasting at dawn and should abstain from eating and drinking until it becomes extremely difficult to fast in which case it is permissible to eat or drink at the time of extreme hunger and thirst sufficing to the necessary amount (of food or water). He should observe the qadha of that day after the month of Ramadhan and he will not be liable to any kaffara.

If a person has the means and can go out of the city with the intention to travel as far as 44 kilometers, he can go on a short journey and break his fast during the journey and come back to his hometown to attend his classes or exams.

One should travel 44 kilometers to break his fast. If the outward and return distances make 44 km, he should break his fast. Remember, the beginning of 8 farsakh (44 km) should be calculated from a point beyond which he will be deemed a traveler, and this point is represented by the last boundary of a city. In certain very big cities, it would be probably reckoned from the end of locality.[1]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A: Fasting and Education; Majma’ al-Masael (by Golpayegani), Vol. 1, Pg. 274; New Istiftaat (Makarem), Vol. 2, Pg. 151.

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Number of things which are Makruh for a person observing fast

Question 566: Could you explain those acts which are makruh for a person observing fast?

Answer 566: There are a number of things which are disapproved for a person observing fast. They are as follows:

  1. Coming in contact with women by kissing, touching or sporting with them, which is lustful for young men, and for those who become sexually excited it is even stronger. This is when a person does not intend discharge of semen, and it may not occur to him by habit; otherwise, it is forbidden in a specified fast. Rather it is better to give it up, even in case of a person who by habit is not sexually excited, though there is likelihood of his being excited by it.
  2. Applying antimony, when sprinkled in the eyes, or when it contains musk, or it reaches the throat, or it is feared that it will reach the throat, or its (bitter) taste may be found in the throat due to the aloe, etc., contained in it.
  3. Pulling out blood by cupping, etc., which may cause weakness, or whatever belongs to the same category, which may cause excitement of bile, without there being difference in its practice in Ramadãn or any other month? Rather its disapproval is stronger during Ramadan Rather it is forbidden during Ramadàn, but generally even in a specified fast, when it is known that it may cause swooning which invalidates fast, and there is no necessity for doing it.
  4. Entering Hammãm (to take bath) when there is fear that it may cause weakness.
  5. Snuffing, particularly despite the knowledge it may reach the brain or the stomach. Rather, it would invalidate the fast if it reaches the throat.
  6. Smelling the flowers, particularly the narcissus, and it means any vegetable having a (pleasant) smell. Of course, there is no harm in using perfumes as they are the gifts of a person keeping fast, but it is better to give up the perfume of musk. Rather, it is disapproved for a fasting person to apply it, in the same way as it is better to give up smelling strong scents which may reach the throat.

Note: There is no harm if a man sits in water (for steaming), but it is disapproved for a woman, in the same way as it is disapproved for both men and women to soak the cloth and place it on their bodies. There is no harm in chewing foodstuff for feeding children or birds, or tasting broth, to the exclusion of other things, in a way that it may not reach the throat, or it may reach the throat unintentionally, or intentionally but out of forgetfulness. There is no difference in putting food in the mouth, regardless whether it is for some valid reason or not. It is disapproved to taste any and every thing.

There is no harm in brushing the teeth with a dry brush, rather it is recommended to do so. It is not far from being disapproved to use a wet brush for teeth, in the same way as it is disapproved to pull out molar teeth; rather, do anything generally which may cause bleeding.[1]

According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), certain things are Makrooh for a person observing fast, some of them are mentioned below:
Using eye drops and applying Surma if its taste or smell reaches the throat. Performing an act, which causes weakness, like blood-letting (extracting the blood from the body) or going for hot bath. Inhaling a snuff if one is not aware that it might reach the throat; and if one is aware that it will reach the throat its use is not permissible. Smelling fragrant herbs. For women, to sit in the water. Using suppository, that is, letting into rectum a stimulant for bowels. Wetting the dress which one is wearing.

Getting a tooth extracted or doing something as a result of which there is bleeding in the mouth. Cleaning the teeth with a wet toothbrush. Putting water or any other liquid in the mouth without a good cause.

It is also Makrooh for a fasting person to court or woo his wife without the intention of ejaculation; or to do something which excites him sexually. And if he does it with the intention of ejaculation, and no ejaculation takes place, his fast, as an obligatory precaution, will be deemed void.[2]

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, rules concerning acts which are disapproved for a person keeping Fast.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Things which are Makrooh for a person observing Fast.