Common and Specific A’amaal for three nights of Qadr

Question 637: What are the common and specific A’amaal we the Muslim can perform during the three Nights of Power (Laylatul Qadr)?

Answer 637: The Night of Power (Laylatul Qard) is the night, which is the most blessed and excellent of all nights. A prayer during this night is superior to the prayer of a thousand months.[1] The destiny for the year is decided (decreed) on this night.[2] That is why the Du`as for this night ask for special favours in the decree for the year. Believers are encouraged to stay awake the entire night, and pray for blessings and forgiveness. It is the holiest night of the year, and it would be unwise to be heedless of the tremendous benefits of this night. The Angels and Roohul Ameen (a highly dignified Angel) descend on this earth, with the permission of Allah (swt) & call on the Imam of the time, and what is ordained (by Allah) for everybody is presented before the Imam.[3] Read More


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: Read More


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.