Verse of Quran say Allah has created everything in pairs

Question 130: Allah (swt) created everything in pears, what does this mean? Not everyone meets their soul mate. Does soul mate have another meaning, maybe deeper or different than what we think it should be?

Answer 130: What the verse of the Holy Qur’an in which it is mentioned that Allah (swt) created everything in pairs is as follows:

In the Holy Qur’an Allah (swt), the Almighty says, “And for every creature We created its Mate [a pair: male and female] this is something that you may think about The wisdom behind it.”[1]

وَمِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ خَلَقْنَا زَوْجَيْنِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ

“Wamenkolle shay­en khalaq­nâ zaw jay­ne la’allakom tadhakkarôn”

In the other verse of the holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find rest in them, and He put between you love and compassion Most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect.[2]

This doesn’t mean that Allah, the Almighty has only created a special mate for us the human being or a man can only have one mate in his life, because we are able to choose different mates that have in common with us.

According to some scholars, mate means ‘male and female’. According to others, the word mate means, such opposite creatures like earth and sky, day and night, land and sea and human and Jin.

The wisdom behind this is that we may take admonition and know not to consider any Partner with Allah (swt), because, He is Allah (swt), the One! The eternally Besought of all! He begets not nor was begotten.

The word ‘kolle shay­en‘ (every creature) means every animal. This means that Allah (swt) has created male and female from every animal (such as human being who is a rational being and other beings).[3]

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

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

[1] . Surah al-Zariyat, verses 49-51.

[2] . Surah Room, verse 21.

[3] . Tafsir Al-Mizan, Vol. 18, Pg. 573. Al-Ikhlas (112), verses 1-4. Gonabadi, Sultan Muhammad, Tafsir-e Bayan-es Sa’adat fi Maqamat-el Ebadat, Vol. 4, Pg. 115, second edition, 1408 A.H.’ Zamakhshari, Mahmood, al-Kashaf an Haqayeq e Ghavamedh al-Tanzil, Vol. 4, Pg. 404, Darul Ketab al-Arabi, Beirut, third edition, 1407 A.H.


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.


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:

There is a wonderful hadith narrated from Aisha. When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) was carrying Imam Hussain (as) on His shoulders, Aisha asked Him (pbuh): Do you love him? The Holy Prophet replied: Woe are you, how I don’t love and like him while he is the light of my eyes, however my Umma will kill him! Whomever visit him after his martyrdom Allah, the Almighty would grant him a reward of one of my Hajj. Aisha wandered and said: One of your Hajj? He (pbuh) said: even two Hajj of mine. Aisha wandered again. He (pbuh) said: even four Hajj. Aisha was continuously wandered until the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: the reward of vising Imam Hussain (as) is equal to the reward of my nighty Hajj![1]

What the most important reason for Imam Hussain (as) that unfinished His Hajj in order to go to Kufa is to disgrace Yazid’s regime and to uphold and put into practice (Amer bil Maroof and Nahi anil munkir), to order the correct and right and to stop and refrain from the evils and to stand up against the brutality and cruelty. This was the mission Allah, the Almighty had entrusted him. That’s why He (as) is Thar Allah (possessor of the blood venerated by Allah). And if we visit His holy shrine with the pure intention and to remember this sacrifice of protecting the pure Islam of the Holy Prophet (pbuh), we would be granted the reward of many mustahab Hajj. In sha Allah.

Ziyarat of Imam Reza (as) is preferable to visit the holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as):  Ali bin Mahziyar asked Imam Jawad (as): Which holy shrine is preferable to be visited, Ziyarat of Abi Abdellah (as) or Imam Reza (as)? The Imam said: Ziyarat of my Father (as).

Ali bin Mahziyar also asked: why? The Imam said: Because, all people visit the holy shrine of Imam Hussain (as), but only Shia Muslims visit my father’s holy shrine![2]

Therefore, visiting the holy shrine of our Infallible Imams (pbuth) especially Imam Reza (as) is preferable to go for mustahab Hajj.

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

Index: Ziyarat of Imam Hussain when you are far away from Karbala, answer 057.

Index: Importance of Marifat Imam / Definition of Marifat, answer 283.

[1] . Kamel al-Ziyarat, Pgs. 68 & 210.

[2] . Kuleini, Kafi, Vol. 9, Pg. 335, Daral-Hadith Publication; Lawame’ Saheb Qerani, Vol. 8, Pg. 548.


Kumeil, Salman Farsi, Bilal and Miqdad in Karbala

Question 378: Why did not Kumayl join the mission of Imam-al Hussain (a) in Karbala and where were Salman al-Farisi and Miqdad in the same time?

Answer 378: After the martyrdom of Imam Ali (as) in the holy month of Ramadan (40 A.H), Kumeil along with the people of Kufa gave allegiance to Imam Hasan (as). According to Majlesi (ra), Kumeil was one of the Imams (as) companions.[1]

Kumeil like Qanbar, the servant of Imam Ali (as) were imprisoned by Mu’āwīyya (la) due to his love and affection toward Ahlul Bayt (pbuth), during the time of Imam Hussain (as). He was freed from prison right after the day of Ashura.[2]

Kumeil was martyred by Hajjaj (la) at the age of ninety and was buried in Thawiya (between Najaf and Kufa).[3] 

Miqdad passed away at the age of seventy in Jurf in 33 A.H, while the Story of Karbala happened in 61 A.h. Therefore, it is natural that he couldn’t be in Karbala with Imam Hussain (as) as he had passed away 28 years before Ashura.[4]

There have been mentioned some different opinions about the date of Salman al-Farsi’s demise. Some say he passed away in 36 A.H.[5]

In some sources it is mentioned that he had a long life and even some have considered his lifespan about 350 years.[6]

After Salman had passed away, Ali bin Abi Talib (as) travelled to al-Mada’in to bathe and enshroud his body, and then he performed funeral prayer on his body, before burying him in a grave. Imam Ali (as) returned to Medina that night.[7]

Salman had written this poem on his enshrouding cotton:  I am heading toward the Munificent, lacking a sound heart and an appropriate provision.  While taking a provision (with you) is the most dreadful deed, if you are going to the Munificent.[8]

Bilāl b. Rabāḥ known as Bilāl al-Ḥabashī: According to most history sources, his death was in 20 A.H in Damascus, however 17, 18 and 21 have mentioned as well.[9]

Some sources have specified plague as the cause for his death.[10]

It is widely ascribed that he is buried in Bab al-Saqir cemetery, in Damascus.[11]

He was older than sixty when he died, however the ages 63, 64, and 70 were also noted in some sources.[12]

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

Index: Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala, answer 071.

Index: The number of soldiers who came to Karbala to fight against Imam Hussain (as), answer 568.

[1] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 44, Pg. 111;  Al-Manaqeb, Vol. 4, Pg. 41.

[2] . Kumeil Mahram Asrar Amir al-Momeneen (as), Hussain Heidar Khani, Pg. 145;  The Story of Karbala, Pg. 358, narrated from Al-Mofid Dhikri al-Sebt al-Shahid, Pg. 115.

[3] . Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 42, Pg. 149;  Muntaha al-A’mal, Vol. 1, Pg. 255.

[4] . Tabaqat, ibn Sa’d, Beirut, Dar Sader, Bita, Vol. 3, Pg. 163;  Muhammadi, Muhammad, Simaye Miqdad, Pg. 123.

[5] . Ibn Asakar, the History of Medina and Damascus, Vol. 21, Pgs. 458-459.

[6] . Khatib Baqdadi, History of Baghdad, Vol. 1, Pg. 176.

[7] . For further information, please refer to: Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 22, Pg. 380.

[8] . Noori, Nafs al-Rahman fee Fadhael Salman (ra), Pg. 139.

[9] . Ibn Sa’d, Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Pg. 238;  ibn Qutaiba, Book of al-Maaref, Pg. 88;  Tabari, Tarikh (history), Vol. 4, Pg. 112;  Khatib Baghdadi, History of Baghdad, Vol. 1, Pg. 184;  Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 8;  ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Istiaab, Vol. 1, Pg. 179;  ibn Asakar, History of Medina and Damascus, Vol. 10, Pgs. 432-476-479;  ibn Athir, Asad al-Ghabah, Vol. 1, Pg. 244.

[10] . Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 8, ibn Asakar, History of Mediana and Damascus, Vol. 10, Pg. 476;  Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 4, Pg. 290;  ibn Hajar Asqalani, al-Isaba, Vol. 1, Pg. 327.

[11] . Tusi, Rijal, Pg. 9;  ibn Sad, al-Tabaqat al-Kubra, Vol. 3, Pg. 238.

[12] . Ibn Abd al-Birr, al-Istiab, Vol. 1, Pg. 179;  Tahzib al-Asma’, part 1, Pg. 137;  Tahzib al-Kamal, Vol. 4, Pg. 290.


Receive a wage for providing training of the Holy Quran

Question 126: Is it allowed to make money off of teaching Qur’an?

Answer 126: There would be no problem to receive a wage for providing training of the Holy Qur’an, except those Surahs that we recite in our prayers like Surah al-Fatiha and Ikhlas, according to Ayatollah Bahjat and Fazel Lankarani[1].

Some scholars have issued a fatwa that it is abnormal (makrooh)[2].

The following is ahadith that blames us if we want to receive wages for training the Holy Qur’an: Imam Ali (a.s) has said, “Those who want to receive wages for training of the Holy Qur’an they will be given on the Day of Judgment as whatever they have received in this world[3].”

According to the above mentioned hadith, receiving wage for training the Holy Qur’an is abnormal[4].

Imam Ali (a.s) didn’t say you are not allowed to receive a wage in this regards, he said, “You will reward on the Day of Judgment as whatever you are given in this world. This means, you will never be rewarded on that Day! As a result, it is suited with abnormal! We can figure out from other traditions in which there would be no problem to receive a wage for providing training of the Holy Qur’an as the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, “The lawful wage you can ever be given is the wage for training the Holy Qur’an[5].”

In conclusion, it is appropriate to provide training of the Holy Qur’an with the intention of gaining proximity to Allah (SWT). We should consider the spiritual and heavenly remuneration if we want to provide training of the Holy Qur’an, instead of receiving a worldly wage, however, there would be no problem to receive it. The wages we are given in this regards should be considered as gift.

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

Index: Taking wage for reciting holy Quran or eulogy, answer 451.

[1] . Bahjat, Muhammad Taqi, Isteftaat, Vol. 1, Pg. 411, Question 1447; Fazel Lankarani, Muhammad, book of Jemeul Masail, Vol. 1, Pg. 591, Question 2211.

[2] . Makarem Shirazi, Nase, new Isteftaat, Vol. 1, Pg. 521, second edition.

[3] . Sheikh Sadouq, Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh, Vol. 3, Pg. 178, second edition, 1413 AH.

[4] . Hilli, Hasan bin Yousef, Tadkiratul Foqaha, vol. 12, Pg. 136, first edition; Ardabili, Ahmad bin Muhammad, Majmaul Faidah walburhan fi, Sharhe Ershadel Adhan, Vol. 8, Pg. 18, first edition, 1403 AH; Majlesi, Muhammad Taqi, Rawzatul Muttaqin Fi Sharh e Man lā yahduruhu al-Faqīh, reasercher Moosavi Kermani, Sayyid Hussain & Estehardi, Ali Panah and Tabatabaee, Sayyid Fadhlulllah, Vol. 6, Pgs. 511 and 512.

[5] . Ibn Abi Jomhoor Ihsaee, Muhammad bin Ali, Awalial Layali al-Azizah Fi al-Ahadith al-Diniyah, Vol. 1, Pg. 176, Dar e Sayyid al-Shohada LialNashr, Qom, first edition, 1405 AH. «إِنَّ أَحَقَ مَا أَخَذْتُمْ عَلَیهِ أَجْراً كِتَابُ اللَّه»


The Imams named their kids Uthman, Umar and Abu Bakr

Question 115: Ahlul bayt (pbuth) named their kids Usman, Umar, and Abubakr! why these days we (Shia) don’t give our children such names? is it part of our faith is to hate them?

Answer 115: With a quick glance at historical books we see that Abu Bakr ibn Ali, Umar bin Ali and Usman bin Ali were the children of Laila the daughter of Masoud Thaqafi, Um Habib and Ummul Banin, respectively. When reflecting on the similarity of name between these children and the Khulafa it can be said:

The public mindset at that time was in such a way that these names were not significant and subject to attention and accordingly didn’t posses approving or disapproving connotations. As a matter of fact these names would not remind anyone of the Khulafa and it was through the passing of time and history that the names of these three people were bolded, but back then these names were so common that if Ali (A.S.) or anybody else chose the name Abu Bakr for their child it wasn’t reminiscent of the first Khalifa. Moreover there were great companions of the prophet (A.S.) that had these names like Usman bin Maznun and others.

These names were in that era and, as witnessed in historical books, later on used commonly in the time of the other Imams. Besides these names weren’t hated and condemned by the Shiites as Mu’jam Al-Theqat has listed nearly 60 pages of narrators that had the name Umar or Usman bin Saied which was one of the four special representatives of Imam Zaman (A.S.) in the time of the minor occultation.

One must know that the names of the three khalifas were not confined to them, but actually frequently used before and after Islam, among Arabs. This naming could not be a reason for friendship and liking. For example, the last king of Iran, named Muhammad Reza, was the most despised person in the country, but at the same time this didn’t change the fact that this name was commonly used among people. There were others among the great Sahabah (The Companions) of the Prophet (A.S.) that had the same name as the Khulafa too such as Usman bin Maznun and others so how can someone claim that these names weren’t for the remembrance of these great companions. You can check the names of the Sahaba that were named Abu Bakr, Umar and Usman in Al-Isti’aab by Ibn Abdul Birr and Asad Al-Ghabah by Ibn Athir.

It is useful to note that nowhere in our historical books (that have been studied) has it been mentioned that Imam Ali directly chose these names, hence there is a possibility that these names were picked by his respected spouses or others which the Imam respected and wouldn’t argue with their decisions.[1]

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

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

[1] . Arbali, Ali, Kash al-Ghumma an Ma’rifat al-A’immah, vol. 2, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 21, pg. 66; Ibid and Al-Irshad, pg. 167; Mu’jam al-Khu’i, vol. 13, pg. 45; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 21, pg. 66; Al-Irshad, pg. 484; Mu’jam al-Thuqat, vol. 13, pg. 45; Muntahal-Amal, vol. 1, pg. 220.


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


“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:


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.


Ancestry of Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz to the Imams

Question 183: Is there an ancestry connection of Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz to the Holy Imams (as)?

Answer 183: Moinuddin Chishti (Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz. Benefactor of the Poor), introduced and established the Chishti Order of Sufism in the Indian subcontinent. The initial spiritual chain (silsila) of the Chishti order in India, comprising Chishti, Qutbuddin Bakhtiar Kaki, Fariduddin Ganjshakar and Nizamuddin Auliya—each successive person being the disciple of the previous—includes the great Sufi saints of Indian history. Various Mughal emperors were followers of Chishti.

There is no reliable information available regarding his early life and background before he settled in Ajmer.

According to some books regarding Khawaja Ghareeb Nawaz’s life and works, he is said to have been born in Chisht in a city between Afghanistan and Iran and is thought to be a “Sayyid”, and with some mediators’ descendant connected to Imam Hasan (as).[1]

[1] . Moin al-Awliya, Pgs. 37 – 38; For further information in this regards, please refer to Book Majales al-Nafaes.


Symbol of the crescent moon in Islam

Question 182: The crescent with the moon and the star used by Muslims, what is the genesis of this symbol and when during the time of our noble Prophet (saws) did the Holy Prophet (saws) use this symbol on mosques?

Answer 182: The crescent moon and star symbol actually pre-dates Islam by several thousand years. Information on the origins of the symbol are difficult to ascertain, but most sources agree that these ancient celestial symbols were in use by the peoples of Central Asia and Siberia in their worship of sun, moon, and sky gods. There are also reports that the crescent moon and star were used to represent the Carthaginian goddess Tanit or the Greek goddess Diana.

The city of Byzantium (later known as Constantinople and Istanbul) adopted the crescent moon as its symbol.

According to some reports, they chose it in honor of the goddess Diana. Others indicate that it dates back to a battle in which the Romans defeated the Goths on the first day of a lunar month. In any event, the crescent moon was featured on the city’s flag even before the birth of Christ.

The early Muslim community did not really have a symbol. During the time of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Islamic armies and caravans flew simple solid-colored flags (generally black, green, or white) for identification purposes.

In later generations, the Muslim leaders continued to use a simple black, white, or green flag with no markings, writing, or symbolism on it.

It wasn’t until the Ottoman Empire that the crescent moon and star became affiliated with the Muslim world. When the Turks conquered Constantinople (Istanbul) in 1453, they adopted the city’s existing flag and symbol. Legend holds that the founder of the Ottoman Empire, Osman, had a dream in which the crescent moon stretched from one end of the earth to the other. Taking this as a good omen, he chose to keep the crescent and make it the symbol of his dynasty.

There is speculation that the five points on the star represent the five pillars of Islam, but this is pure conjecture. The five points were not standard on the Ottoman flags, and as you will see on the following page, it is still not standard on flags used in the Muslim world today.

For hundreds of years, the Ottoman Empire ruled over the Muslim world. After centuries of battle with Christian Europe, it is understandable how the symbols of this empire became linked in people’s minds with the faith of Islam as a whole.

Based on this history, many Muslims reject using the crescent moon as a symbol of Islam. The faith of Islam has historically had no symbol, and many refuse to accept what is essentially an ancient pagan icon. It is certainly not in uniform use among Muslims.

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What happened to Zuljanah in Karbala?

Question 166: What happened to Imam Hussein’s horse (Zuljanah) in Karbala?

Answer 166: The writers of books on what happened on Ashura (these books are referred to as ‘maqatil’) have not mentioned much about what happened to Zuljanah. What is mentioned is that he made his mane bloody with the blood of the Imam and returned to the tents neighing very highly.[1]

When the household of the Imam heard Zuljanah they came out of the tents and found out that the Imam had been martyred.[2] But, some of the later maghatel like Nasekhul-Tawarikh have extended saying that Zuljanah banged his head to the ground so much that he died[3], some say that Zuljanah had been killed before the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (as) and Imam himself fought against Ubayd Allah ibn Ziyad till has been martyred[4] or that Zuljanah threw himself in the Furat (the river in Karbala that Imam Hussain was denied water from).[5]

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

Index: Every day is Ashura and Every Place is Karbala, answer 071.

Index: The Wedding of Hadrat Qasim in Karbala on the Day of Ashura, answer 605.

Index: Enemies killed by Imam Hussain (as) in Karbala on the Day of Ashura, answer 598.

[1] . Biharul Anwar, Majlesi, Vol. 44, Pg. 321, A.H. 1404.

[2] . Qummi, Muntaha al-Amaal, Vol. 2, Pg. 910.

[3] . Ibid, Pg. 909.

[4] . Refer to: Tahqiq wa Pegouhish dar Tarikh Zendegani Imam Hussain (as), Pg. 684.

[5] . The ziyarah of Nahiyah Muqaddasah; Amaliyy of Sheikh Saduq, pg. 163; Mirza Muhammad Taqi Sepehri, Nasekhul-Tawarikh, vol. 6, pg. 2.


Shia Ithna Ashari is Jafari school of thought

Question 111: The Jafari school of Thought are all who follow the school Shi’a? And is there any who follow this school who are not Shi’a? Are Shi’ah Ithna Ash’ari, Jafari?

Answer 111: Jafri is a surname commonly associated with those who are the descendants of the 6th Imam, Ja’far al-Sadiq (as), who was a direct descendant of Imam Ali (as) and the holy Prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

The meaning of Ja’fari sect is the Twelver Shia. Imam Ali (as) is their first infallible Imam and their last Imam is Mahdi (as). There are other names for the followers of this holy sect as follows:

Imamiyyah, Ithnā‘ashariyyah and the twelver Shia. Ja’fari is also used as another name for the Twelver Shi’is. The Twelver theology, which mainly consists of five principles [as] has formed over the course of history on the basis of the teachings of the Holy Qur’an, and hadiths from the Holy Prophet Muhammad (saws) and the Twelve Imams (pbuth) especially Imam Jafar al-Sadiq (as).

So, those who follow this school of thought are called Shia.

Note: The Ithna Ashari School is not the only group that identify as Shia but it is the majority of Shia consisting of about 85% of Shia. In addition, there are a small minority of follows from the School of Ahlul Sunnah wal Jamaah (Sunni) who love the Ahlulbayt (as) but don’t follow the hadith of the 12 Imams (as) nor disassociate with their enemies.

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

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

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


Taking wages for reciting holy Quran or eulogy

Question 451: Most of the Zakirs, Ulama are taking handsome amount of reciting majalis and noha. Is taking wages for reciting holy Quran or eulogy  permissible in our fiqh?

Answer 451: There would be no problem for a Maddah, Zakir (eulogist) or a Qari (reader) to take wage for eulogizing (Maddahi) or reciting the holy Quran, though it is better for him/her not to take any.[1]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: Taking wages for teaching Mustahab things is permissible. Taking wages for teaching obligatory acts of prayers is haraam.[2]

[1] . Majma al-Masael, by Golpayegani, Vol. 2, Pg. 56;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol. 2, Pg. 9331, Q 76;  The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Job, question 12.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, Obligatory acts relating to Namaz » Qir’at (reciting the Surah Al-Hamd and other Surah of Holy Qur’an), issue 1008.


The First Message of Iran Supreme Leader Ayatollah Khamenei to the Youth

Question 570: What is the first Message of Iran Supreme Leader ‘Ayatollah Khamenei’ to the Youth in Europe and North America?

Answer 570: The first Message of Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamenei (ha), Supreme Leader of The Islamic Republic of Iran to the Youth in Europe and North America is as follows:

In the name of God, the Beneficent the Merciful

To the Youth in Europe and North America,

The recent events in France and similar ones in some other Western countries have convinced me to directly talk to you about them. I am addressing you, [the youth], not because I overlook your parents, rather it is because the future of your nations and countries will be in your hands; and also I find that the sense of quest for truth is more vigorous and attentive in your hearts.

I don’t address your politicians and statesmen either in this writing because I believe that they have consciously separated the route of politics from the path of righteousness and truth.

I would like to talk to you about Islam, particularly the image that is presented to you as Islam. Many attempts have been made over the past two decades, almost since the disintegration of the Soviet Union, to place this great religion in the seat of a horrifying enemy. The provocation of a feeling of horror and hatred and its utilization has unfortunately a long record in the political history of the West.

Here, I don’t want to deal with the different phobias with which the Western nations have thus far been indoctrinated. A cursory review of recent critical studies of history would bring home to you the fact that the Western governments’ insincere and hypocritical treatment of other nations and cultures has been censured in new historiographies.

The histories of the United States and Europe are ashamed of slavery, embarrassed by the colonial period and chagrined at the oppression of people of color and non-Christians. Your researchers and historians are deeply ashamed of the bloodsheds wrought in the name of religion between the Catholics and Protestants or in the name of nationality and ethnicity during the First and Second World Wars. This approach is admirable.

By mentioning a fraction of this long list, I don’t want to reproach history; rather I would like you to ask your intellectuals as to why the public conscience in the West awakens and comes to its senses after a delay of several decades or centuries. Why should the revision of collective conscience apply to the distant past and not to the current problems? Why is it that attempts are made to prevent public awareness regarding an important issue such as the treatment of Islamic culture and thought?

You know well that humiliation and spreading hatred and illusionary fear of the “other” have been the common base of all those oppressive profiteers. Now, I would like you to ask yourself why the old policy of spreading “phobia” and hatred has targeted Islam and Muslims with an unprecedented intensity. Why does the power structure in the world want Islamic thought to be marginalized and remain latent? What concepts and values in Islam disturb the programs of the super powers and what interests are safeguarded in the shadow of distorting the image of Islam? Hence, my first request is: Study and research the incentives behind this widespread tarnishing of the image of Islam.

My second request is that in reaction to the flood of prejudgments and disinformation campaigns, try to gain a direct and firsthand knowledge of this religion. The right logic requires that you understand the nature and essence of what they are frightening you about and want you to keep away from.

I don’t insist that you accept my reading or any other reading of Islam. What I want to say is: Don’t allow this dynamic and effective reality in today’s world to be introduced to you through resentments and prejudices. Don’t allow them to hypocritically introduce their own recruited terrorists as representatives of Islam.

Receive knowledge of Islam from its primary and original sources. Gain information about Islam through the Qur’an and the life of its great Prophet. I would like to ask you whether you have directly read the Qur’an of the Muslims. Have you studied the teachings of the Prophet of Islam and his humane, ethical doctrines? Have you ever received the message of Islam from any sources other than the media?

Have you ever asked yourself how and on the basis of which values has Islam established the greatest scientific and intellectual civilization of the world and raised the most distinguished scientists and intellectuals throughout several centuries?

I would like you not to allow the derogatory and offensive image-buildings to create an emotional gulf between you and the reality, taking away the possibility of an impartial judgment from you. Today, the communication media have removed the geographical borders. Hence, don’t allow them to besiege you within fabricated and mental borders.

Although no one can individually fill the created gaps, each one of you can construct a bridge of thought and fairness over the gaps to illuminate yourself and your surrounding environment. While this preplanned challenge between Islam and you, the youth, is undesirable, it can raise new questions in your curious and inquiring minds. Attempts to find answers to these questions will provide you with an appropriate opportunity to discover new truths.

Therefore, don’t miss the opportunity to gain proper, correct and unbiased understanding of Islam so that hopefully, due to your sense of responsibility toward the truth, future generations would write the history of this current interaction between Islam and the West with a clearer conscience and lesser resentment.[1]

Sayyid Ali Khamenei

21st Jan. 2015


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[1] . Adopted from: The Office of the Supreme Leader, Grand Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Hosseini Khamenei.