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Best times to make Dua is when it rains

Question 164: I’ve heard hadiths that when it rains that it’s the best time to make duaa because Allah swt has bestowed his mercy on mankind and the sky is open as well. Is that the same for when it snows? So, is that true that one of the Best times to make Dua is when it rains?

Answer 164: 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. Read More

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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

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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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Definition of Dua, Means and Intercession

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://duas.org/

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Intercession: calling Imam Musa al Kadhim Bab al Hawaij

Question 159: In a dua’a made at the Shahadat of Imam al Kadhim (AS), a reference to was made calling him ‘Bab al Hawaij’. Someone explaining it to me stated it meant he is a door to dua’as or prayers being heard or granted. When we are making dua’as after salah and try to call on the intercession of the Imams (AS), after saying salawat of course, are we to name the Imams (AS) and Rasullah (SAWS) by name for the ones that we want to intercede for us? Can we generally say “Ya abwab (doors) al Hawaj (in referencing that any of the imams that are referred to or known to intercede for dua’as to be answered)?

Answer 159: The believers have been asked to practice this method of tawassul in the Qur’an,[1] “Oh you who believe! Be wary of Allah (swt) and seek a means of nearness to Him…” Therefore, there is no contradiction between asking the Imams (AS) and Allah’s (SWT) apostles (SAWS) for something. The doctrine of tawhid, keeping in mind that if the Imams (AS) do something, it is with the permission of Allah (swt). Thus it is okay to say ‘Ya Ali Madad’ or ‘Abwab al Hawaj’ with such a mindset.

‘Bab al Hawaij’ means the door to fulfilling people’s needs. Many hadiths allow us to ask the Imams (AS) for help and a means of livelihood, making no difference between asking them during their lifetime and after. They are the mediators of Allah’s (SWT) grace and it is through them that Allah’s (SWT) grace flows to the rest of His creation, and they are of great respect to Him. The nickname of ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ is one of the most famous nicknames of Hadrat Abalfadl al-Abbas (PBUH) amongst the Shiites. All the Imams (AS) referred to ‘Bab al-Hawaij’ too.

When we make dua’as, instead of calling on the Imams (AS) by individual names can we just refer to any of them as ‘Bab Al Hawaij’ and ‘Abwab al Hawaij’, because the Imams (AS) are infallible and ‘Bab al-Hawaij’.

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

Index: Name, Titles and Lineage of Imam Musa Kadhim (AS), answer 030.

Index: The unmarried daughters of Imam Kadhim as / Fatima Masumah sa, answer 027.

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

[1] . Surah Maidah, Verse 35.

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Visiting non-Muslim graves and Praying for them

Question 103: Assalaamualaikum. What is the Shia view on visiting non-muslim graves and praying for dead non-muslims?
Answer 103: According to the verses of the Holy Quran, if those non-Muslim who have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland, Allah (SWT), the Almighty does not forbid us from doing good and regarding justice to them.

Therefore, we can visit their graves and ask Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them. On the other hand, Allah (SWT) forbids us only from having Friendship with those who fought us on the account of Religion and Drove us out of our homeland; and helped one another in driving us out. As a result, we are forbidden to have friendly Relation with them; and whoever among us does so, then he is regarded as one of the disbelievers. Because, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The Prophet and the faithful may not plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they should be [their] relatives, after it has become clear to them that they will be the inmates of hell”.[1]

Conclusion: If you come to know that they won’t be the inhabitants of the Fire there would be no problem to visit their graves and pray for them.

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

Index: Barzakh / Whoever dies shall see the Infallibles (pbuth) in His Grave, answer 564.

Index: Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell, answer 326.

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

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Praying for non-Muslims in Qunoot of Witr prayer

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

Answer 197:  Given the supposition made in the answer, there is no difference between mentioning them in Qunut. According to the verses of the Holy Quran, if those non-Muslim who have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland, Allah (SWT), the Almighty does not forbid us from doing good and regarding justice to them. Therefore, we can visit their graves and ask Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them. However, Allah (SWT) forbids us only from having Friendship with those who fought us on the account of Religion and Drove us out of our homeland; and helped one another in driving us out; We are forbidden to have friendly Relation with them; and whoever among us does so, then he is regarded as One of the disbelievers. Because, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The Prophet and the faithful may not plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they should be [their] relatives, after it has become clear to them that they will be the inmates of hell”.[1]

Our maraja have different opinions in this regards:

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

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

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

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

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

“اللهم اغفر لفلان

“Allahumma ighfir li-fulan”.

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

اللهم اغفر للمؤمنین و المؤمنات

Allahumma ighfir lil-mo’meneen wal-momeenat.

“استغفر الله ربی و اتوب الیه‌”

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

“هذا مقام العائذ بک من النار”

Haza maqamul a’eze bika minan nar.

Then say three hundred times:

“العفو”

Al-Afw. Then the following dhikr is recited:

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

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

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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PQ4R Method: Ways to Improve Your Memory

Question 093: Can you please introduce some methods by which we can improve and optimize our memory according to the traditions (Ahadith)?

Answer 093: Effective ways to improve memory and comprehension can be classified into some divisions which are as follows:

  1. Remembering Allah (by worshiping Him and doing the canonical duties specially praying on time).
  2. Reciting those duas which are effective for improving memory like the Dua that has been narrated from the Infallible Imam. In which He says: “Ask Allah the Almighty to improve our intellect and beg Him to give us comprehension and perception”.[1]

We explain some kinds of Duas which are effective for improving memory as a sample, that are as follows:

1: The one that the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H) taught Imam Ali (a.s). In which He recommended Imam Ali (a.s) to say:

«سبحان من لايعتدى على اهل مملكته، سبحان من لايأخذ اهل الارض بالوان العذاب، سبحان الرؤوف الرحيم، اللهم اجعل لى فى قلبى نورا و بصرا و فهما و علما انك على كل شى‏ء قدير».[2]

2: “for re-establishment of heart please read this following Dua thrice” Seyed Ibn Tawoos said.

«يا حى يا قيوم يا لااله الا انت اسئلك أن تحيى قلبى اللّهم صل على محمد و آل محمد».[3]

3: Recite this following Dua when you are going to study:

«اللهم اخرجنى من ظلمات الوهم و اكرمنى بنور الفهم اللّهم افتح علينا ابواب رحمتك و انشر علينا خزائن علومك برحمتك يا ارحم الراحمين».[4]

4: It is supposed to repeat this Dua per day before you talk any:

«يا حى يا قيّوم فلا يفوت شيئا علمه و لايؤده».[5]

  1. Reciting the Holy Quran, especially Ayatul Kursi.

” اللَّهُ لا إِلهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ الْحَيُّ الْقَيُّومُ لا تَأْخُذُهُ سِنَةٌ وَ لا نَوْمٌ لَهُ ما فِي السَّماواتِ وَ ما فِي الْأَرْضِ مَنْ ذَا الَّذي يَشْفَعُ عِنْدَهُ إِلاَّ بِإِذْنِهِ يَعْلَمُ ما بَيْنَ أَيْديهِمْ وَ ما خَلْفَهُمْ وَ لا يُحيطُونَ بِشَيْ‏ءٍ مِنْ عِلْمِهِ إِلاَّ بِما شاءَ وَسِعَ كُرْسِيُّهُ السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضَ وَ لا يَؤُدُهُ حِفْظُهُما وَ هُوَ الْعَلِيُّ الْعَظيمُ. (255) لَا إِكْرَاهَ فىِ الدِّينِ  قَد تَّبَينَ‏َ الرُّشْدُ مِنَ الْغَىّ‏ِ  فَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالطَّغُوتِ وَ يُؤْمِن بِاللَّهِ فَقَدِ اسْتَمْسَكَ بِالْعُرْوَةِ الْوُثْقَى‏ لَا انفِصَامَ لَهَا  وَ اللَّهُ سمَِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ(256). اللَّهُ وَلىِ‏ُّ الَّذِينَ ءَامَنُواْ يُخْرِجُهُم مِّنَ الظُّلُمَاتِ إِلىَ النُّورِ  وَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ أَوْلِيَاؤُهُمُ الطَّغُوتُ يُخْرِجُونَهُم مِّنَ النُّورِ إِلىَ الظُّلُمَاتِ  أُوْلَئكَ أَصْحَبُ النَّارِ  هُمْ فِيهَا خَلِدُون‏”.[6]

  1. Avoiding those things which cause forgetfulness like sin, loving wealth eagerly and above everything, being so captive by the world and worrying much more about it.[7]
  2. Attenuating anxiety and finding tranquility especially when you are studying.
  3. Reducing mental thoughts.
  4. Improving our concentration and attention.

Note: whatever that has been explained in regards to improve memory and intelligence from the traditional and prayer (dua) book is not counted as the absolute reason. Because, some factors which are in regards to intelligence and memory are actually related to heritage and genetic elements and they are beyond our control.

In other words, every human’s intelligence, memory and talent are a consequence of various environment and genetic factors such as the abovementioned factors that some of them are beyond human control like the role of the past generation’s genetic factors, though some of them in our hand.

Therefore, we shouldn’t expect that a miracle will be performed if suddenly your intelligence quotient (I.Q) promoted to the highest levels, from 90 to 130, by doing the abovementioned tasks which are actually effective, but not as we expected so. Otherwise, if it hasn’t performed, we do not have to tend to undervalue Imam’s recommendations in this regards.

Actually, we can enhance an intelligence which has 100 points in order to be more effective. However, we can increase the intelligence quotient (I.Q) based on the regular and accurate program that have been organized for mother and child nutrition. Moreover, we can increase the child intelligence quotient (I.Q) if we enrich child’s growth environment by providing any healthy environmental provocations. We are supposed to remove all obstacles were created on the way of promoting intelligence even at the age of youth and middle-ages in order to provide capabilities and developments factors.

It should be noted that these traditions and recommendations have been provided for these matters.

B) Observing material things

  1. Providing natural and Physiological necessities like proper nutrition, sport and sanitation.
  2. Brushing teeth.
  3. Using more articles of food which contains glucose like date, honey, natural sweets; also using those foodstuffs which contain calcium, phosphor and vitamins like milk products, fish oil, orange, tomato, bran, fresh vegetables, carrot and liver.

It is mentioned in Mafatih al-Jinan that if we continually eating currants specially when it is red and has 21 in number before breakfast, and eating sweet paste, meat of around the neck, honey and lentil, our memory will be enhanced.

  1. Practicing and repeating those topics we learned.
  2. If you want to study smarter, take about 10 minutes break every 45 minutes.
  3. Respiratory practice: you are supposed to fill you lug with the air and then breath our gradually while you are standing. This practice help you concentrate better.

C) Observing psychological recommendations:

“You will be able to enhance your memory if you use these following solutions” Psychologists said.

  1. Scanning: which means to classify all the words you want to learn into some lexical sections, then classify these sections into some phrases. So that we can change those words or numbers into the meaningful sections by using this method of scanning in order to increase the capacity of our memory. E.g. changing this numerical chains (149-2177-619-83) to this chain (1983-1176-1492) which is the Christian era. As a result, we can increase and enhance our memory.
  2. Make it meaningful: this method can help us enhance our memory much better than the others. Moreover, we will keep and memorize what we learned better if we make it meaningful profoundly and even with more detailed. So, whenever we are going to keep a note of a book in our mind we will remember it faster in case we focus our attention not on the words but on its meaning. Therefore, we will learn it better if we pay more attention on its meaning profoundly and completely.
  3. Organizing: we can learn, memorize and remember any topics easily if we organize it. Which means, if the topics we are going to learn have numerous collections and branches, the best way of keeping them in our mind is to set it into the rational hierarchy and then divide them into some slightest divisions. E.g. we can divide it from the whole part into the slightest one (major topics into subtopics) and from the top into the down. As a result, we will learn and keep them in our mind easily.
  4. Providing safe environment: When we want to learn something, we usually do it in the special place, time and condition. These situations and conditions in which we learn is actually defined as “Ba’ft”. So, we are able to easily remember those topics we had learned them in case we arrange the same situation and condition as we learned there. E.g. when you want to easily remember the names of your guidance school classmates, you are supposed to walk throughout the school’s aisle where you graduated in order to remind that time when you had been studying with your classmates, so that you can remember their names very easily.
  5. Teaching the PQ4R Method: This method helps students to memorize their textbooks as it is explained under. This name is the abbreviation of the following words:

Preview. Survey or scan the material quickly to get an idea of the general organization and major topics and subtopics. Pay attention to headings and subheadings, and identify what you will be reading about and studying.

In another words: Look through the pages of your reading passage and read the headings of the chapter and any sections dividing the chapter. Read the first and last paragraph in each section. View the illustrations in each section. Read the captions under the pictures and take a few minutes to look at charts, graphs, or maps.

Question. Ask yourself questions about the material before you read it. Use headings to invent questions using the Wh words: who, what, why, where.

In other words: Think about the information you learned in the Preview. Ask yourself questions about it. Think about what you already know about ideas you saw during your Preview. What do you think are main points that will be raised in the chapter? What do you expect to learn from reading this material?

Read. Read the material. Do not take extensive written notes. Try to answer the questions that you posed prior to reading.

In other words: Read the passage. If there are ideas seem important, make a note of them on paper. If the book belongs to you, consider making notes in the margins and highlight important parts in the book. If you just can’t imagine writing in your book, make notes on paper.

Reflect on the material. Try to understand and make meaningful the presented information by (1) relating it to things you already know, (2) relating the subtopics in the text to primary concepts or principles, (3) trying to resolve contradictions within the presented information, and (4) trying to use the material to solve problems suggested by the material.

In other words: Take time to reflect on what you have read. How are the passages or chapters inter-related? How does the information fit into things you have already learned? What new information did you learn? Did the passage include the information you expected it to cover? Was there information that surprised you?

Recite. Practice remembering the information by stating points out loud and asking and answering questions. You may use headings, highlighted words, and notes on major ideas to generate those questions.

In other words: Think about the material. Discuss it with someone else or write down the main points you learned. Generally, writing information down by hand will improve memory of the material. If writing is a problem for you, consider brief notes or discuss the material with other students. It is important to summarize the material in writing using your own words. Explain it aloud to someone else or recite your notes aloud to yourself. Consider using a graphic organizer to increase your understanding of how concepts in the reading relate to each other.

Review. In the final step, actively review the material, focusing on asking yourself questions; re-read the material only when you are not sure of the answers.[8]

Also, consider the main points of the material. Were your questions answered? Do you feel that the writer’s points are fully understood?

Conclusion: We can classify those effective methods of enhancing and optimizing memory and comprehension into some divisions which are as follows:

A) Spiritual methods:

  1. Remembering Allah (by worshiping Him and doing the canonical duties especially praying on time)
  2. Reciting those duas which are effective for enhancing and optimizing memory such as the Holy prophet (P.B.U.H) taught Imam Ali (a.s). In which He recommended Imam Ali (a.s) to say:

«سبحان من لايعتدى على اهل مملكته، سبحان من لايأخذ اهل الارض بالوان العذاب، سبحان الرؤوف الرحيم، اللهم اجعل لى فى قلبى نورا و بصرا و فهما و علما انك على كل شى‏ء قدير»[9]

  1. Reciting the verses of the Holy Quran especially Ayatul Kursi.
  2. Avoidance of those things which cause forgetfulness like sin.
  3. Attenuating anxiety and finding tranquility especially when you are studying.
  4. Reducing those things which our memory become obsessed with.
  5. Improving our concentration and attention.

B) Observing material things.

  1. Providing natural and Physiological necessities like proper nutrition, sport and sanitation.
  2. Brushing teeth.
  3. Using more articles of food which contains glucose like date, honey, natural sweets; also using those foodstuffs which contain calcium, phosphor and vitamins like milk products, fish oil, orange, tomato, bran, fresh vegetables, carrot and liver.
  4. Practicing and repeating those topics we learned.

C) Observing psychological recommendations:

Psychologist said: “you will be able to enhance your memory if you use these following solutions”

  1. Scanning.
  2. Make it meaningful.
  3. Organizing.
  4. Providing safe environment.
  5. PQ4R method.

[1] . Bihar al-Anwar, vol 1, p 224, first tradition of Unwan al- Basri.

[2] . Mafatih-ul Jinan, the first chapter one of the first section, Taqeebat-e-Namaz.

[3] . , the book Baghiyat –e- Salehat.

[4] . Ibid.

[5] . Ibid.

[6] . “There is no God but Allah, the Eternal- Live; slumber does not overtake Allah, nor does sleep. To Allah Belongs whatever is in the heavens and On the earth. Who dares to intercede In Allah’s Presence without His Leave? Allah Knows what happens to The people now and what happens to Them in the future; and none of Them will ever encompass anything of Allah’s Knowledge except as much Allah Wills. Allah’s Throne is Extended over the heavens and The earth; but preserving both of Them] at the same time [does not Trouble Allah. And Allah is The Supreme-Exalted Great;

There is no compulsion in accepting Religion,] since [Truth has verily Become distinct from Falsehood] in The Qur’an and through The Messenger and Miracles [; whoever Rejects Satan and believes in Allah, Then indeed he has grasped the firmest Handle that will never break off. And Allah is the Knowing Hearer;

Allah is the Guardian of those who Believe; He takes them out from The darkness into the Light; and Those who reject Faith, their Guardians are the rebels who take Them out from the Light into The darkness and they will be The dwellers of the Hell, therein they Shall abide forever.”

[7] . Ibid

[8] . Adapted from Porseman CD, but with changing and rewriting a lot.

[9] . Mafatih-ul Jinan, the first chapter one of the first section, Taqeebat-e-Namaz.

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Praying for non-Muslim Parents

Question 516: Can I as a Shia Muslim pray for my dead parent who is a non-Muslim? They were Ahl al-Kitab. If so, can you provide sources and scholarly opinions? Thank you.

Answer 516: We have already sent a similar question to the office of grand maraja’, whether it is permissible to solace to non-Muslims who have passed away and send salawat, recite surah al-Fatiha and pray for them?

Our maraja’ have different opinions about it. Some say, it is permissible if they have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland. Others say, it is permissible to solace, though asking Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them is not permissible.

Ayatollah Khameneni: There is no problem in it per se if they have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion.

Ayatollah Sistani: It is impermissible to ask Allah, the Almighty for their forgiveness and pray for them.

Ayatollah Safi Golpayegani: Sending Salawat and praying to Allah (SWT) to forgive them are not permissible[1].

According to the verses of the Holy Quran, if those non-Muslim who have not fought Muslims on the account of Religion and have not driven us out of our Homeland, Allah (SWT), the Almighty does not forbid us from doing good and regarding justice to them. Therefore, we can visit their graves and ask Allah, the Almighty for His forgiveness and pray for them. However, Allah (SWT) forbids us only from having Friendship with those who fought us on the account of Religion and Drove us out of our homeland; and helped one another in driving us out; We are forbidden to have friendly Relation with them; and whoever among us does so, then he is regarded as One of the disbelievers. Because, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “The Prophet and the faithful may not plead for the forgiveness of the polytheists, even if they should be [their] relatives, after it has become clear to them that they will be the inmates of hell”.[2]

It should be noted that the loss of a family member is a difficult challenge to overcome. However, one can overcome this situation by doing the following points:

A: Having patience: Patience is mans’ greatest friend in life.[3] Patience in the face of calamities is one type of patience.[4] The ahadith speak of a great reward for patience in such situations. To pay attention to its results and rewards which are mentioned in the Quran and ahadith is one of the ways to overcome a loss. We will mention some of these Quranic verses and ahadith below:

1- In the Quran, God says: “Peace be to you, for your patience.” How excellent is the reward of the [ultimate] abode!”[5] “We will surely test you with a measure of fear and hunger and a loss of wealth, lives, and fruits; and give good news to the patient. Those who, when an affliction visits them, say,” Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return. It is they who receive the blessings of their Lord and [His] mercy, and it is they who are the [rightly] guided”[6]

2- Imam Ali says “Having patience when calamities strike stems from one’s wisdom.”[7]

“Amongst the treasures of belief is having patience when calamities befall one.”[8] “Having patience at the time of catastrophes elevates one to lofty spiritual levels.”[9]

B: We must understand that death will take place for all of us: “Every soul shall taste death. Then you shall be brought back to us.”[10] Because all creatures are manifestations of Go Godl’s existence and attributes and they have come from him, they will all go back to him “Indeed we belong to Allah, and to Him do we indeed return.”[11]

One of the results of having belief in God is that when catastrophes strike, a believer reminds himself of the above mentioned verse. The better and deeper one understands the truth mentioned in the verse, the easier he will be able to overcome such issues.

C: The ahadith have mentioned certain acts to be carried out for the dead. Some of them are wajib and some are mustahab. We will mention some examples of these ahadith below:

First: Paying charity; A man from the tribe of Bani Saedah came to the Prophet after his mother passed away and said: “My mother passed away during my absence. If I pay charity on behalf of her, will her soul be rewarded?” The Prophet replied: “Yes.”[12]

Second: Reciting Quran; The Prophet stated: “Whoever passes by a graveyard and recites surah Ikhlas eleven times and sends the reward for the dead, he will be rewarded by the number of people that are buried there.”[13]

Third: Doing good deeds; Imam Sadiq said: “The reward of charity, supplicating and good deeds will reach the dead as well as the one who carried them out.”[14] “Whenever a Muslim does good deeds on behalf of the dead, God will multiply his reward and also give the dead the reward of the good deed.”[15]

Fourth: Performing Wahshat prayer; It is mustahab to pray two raka’ats on the first night of burial.[16] The details of this prayer are mentioned in the law books of the maraji’.[17] Therefore, it is musthab to perform this prayer only on the first night and not all nights. For the other nights, one may perform other acts for his mother to send her the reward and make her soul calm and happy in the other world.

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

Index: Visiting non-Muslim graves and Praying for them, answer 103.

(https://www.facebook.com/groups/510247479126564/permalink/546002345551077/)

[1] . Adopted from answer 35827.

[2] Surah Mumtahina, verses 8 & 9;  Surah Tawbah, verse 113; Adopted from Index: Visiting non-Muslim graves and Praying for them.

[3] For further information, refer to the topic “Increasing Patience”, Question 8418 (site: 9091).

[4] Daylami, Shaykh Hasan, Irshad al-Qulub ila al-Sawab, vol. 1, p. 126, Sharif Radhiyy Press, Qum, first edition, 1412 AH.

[5] Ra’d:24.

[6] Baqarah:155-157.

[7] Tamimi Amidi, Abd al-Wahid ibn Muhammad, Ghurar al-Hikam wa Durar al-Kalim, p. 283, hadith 6299, Islamic Propagation Office Press, Qum, 1366 (solar).

[8] Ibid, p. 282, hadith 6298.

[9] Ibid, p. 262, hadith 6269.

[10] Ankabut:57 “كُلُّ نَفْسٍ ذائِقَةُ الْمَوْتِ ثُمَّ إِلَيْنا تُرْجَعُون”.

[11] Baqarah:156 “إِنَّا لِلَّهِ وَ إِنَّا إِلَيْهِ راجِعُونَ”.

[12] MullaHavish Aal Ghazi, Abd al-Qadir, Bayan al-Ma’ani, vol. 1, p. 203, Taraqi Press, Damascus, first edition, 1382 AH; Qurtubi, Muhammad ibn Ahmad, Al-Jami’ li Ahkam al-Quran, Nasir Khosro Press, Tehran, first edition, 1364 (solar).

[13] Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 10, p. 368, al-Wafa Institute, Beirut, 1404 AH.

[14] Amili, Shaykh Hurr, Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 279, Aal al-Bayt Institute, Qum, 1409 AH.

[15] Hilli, Ibn Fahd, Uddat al-Da’i, p. 146, Daar al-Kutub al-Islamiyy, Qum, 1407 AH.

[16] Amili (Kaf’ami), Ibrahim ibn Ali, Al-Misbah, p. 411, Daar al-Radhiyy Press, Qum, second edition, 1405 AH, Wasa’il al-Shia, vol. 8, p. 168.

[17] Musawi (Imam Khumayni), Sayyid Ruhullah, Tawdhih al-Masa’il, vol. 1, p. 348, researched/edited by: Sayyid Muhammad Husayn Bani Hashimi Khumayni, Islamic Publications Office, Qum, eighth edition, 1424 AH.

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Reciting Dua or Dikr in any language during the Prayer

Question 579: Hi. I have heard that Muslim can make Dua during Sajdah in his own language while praying. Is this true?

In which position that Dua would be recited. Will it be while saying Subhana rabbi al awla in Sajdah?

Answer 579: The followings are the answers of our maraja’ regarding this issue:

Imam Khomeini (ra), Ayatollah Araki (ra) Ayatollah Noori Hamedani:

There would be no problem to recite dua in any language other than Arabic while praying.[1]

Ayatollah Bahjat (ra):

Reciting dua or dikr in any language which is specialized for the person offering prayer is permissible, though it is against the precaution.[2]

Ayatollah Tabrizi (ra), Khoei, Shobairi Zanjani, Safi, Golpayegani and Vahid Khorasani:

There would be no problem to recite dua while praying, however you are supposed not to recite it in other than Arabic langage, according to a recommended precaution.[3]

Ayatollah Khamenei:

There is no problem to recite dua in any language during the prayer.[4]

Ayatollah Sistani:

Reciting Dua during the prayers is permissible. However, the recommended precaution is that one should not read Duas in any language other than Arabic.[5]

Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra):

Reciting dua during the prayer is permissible, however it should be recited in Atabic language, according to an obligatory precaution.[6]

Ayatollah Makarem:

It is impermissible to recite dua in any language other than Arabic.[7]

Note: It is obligatory to recite Dhikr in prostration as mentioned under Rukü’, the major Tasbih here being: Subhana rabbiyal a’lã va bi hamdihi.[8]

It is mustahab to recite dua in the last sajdah of the prayer. In this regards, Imam Ali (as) says: It is not necessary to recite Surah al-Hamd and Ikhlas in Ruku and Sajdah. You are recommended to at first praise Allah, the Almighty and then make dua.[9]

The followings are duas we are recommended to recite. Although, they haven’t exactly mentioned in traditions, but there are some traditions that are related to these duas.

. Ya Latif irham ‘abdika al dhaeef al-Zaleel.[10]

. Ya Wali ul Aafeeya, As’aluka al-Afyiah, Aafyit al-Dunya wal Akhirah.[11]

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

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer.

Index:  Perform our prayers in Arabic language, answer 010.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 154, q. 1135; ibid, Pg. 207, q. 1137; Ibid, Pg. 231, issue. 1136.

[2] . Istiftaat, Vol. 2, Pg. 151, q. 2029.

[3] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 176, q. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 197, issue. 1144; Ibid, Vol. 1, Pg. 270, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 229, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 199, issue. 1144; Ibid, Pg. 408, issue. 1144.

[4] . New Istiftaat, N. 1, Pg. 16, code: 32304.

[5] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja, Pg. 232, issue. 1122; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani, rules concerning Things which invalidate prayers » Introduction.

[6] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 192, issue. 1154.

[7] . Tawzih al-Masael, Pg. 193, issue. 1016.

[8] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Rules Concerning Sajdah (Prostration).

[9] . Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 6, Pg. 310.

[10] . Sheikh Sadouq, Man la Yahduruhul Faqih, researcher and editor: Ghafari, Ali Akbar, Vol. 2, Pg. 165; Sayyid bin Tawus, Radi al-Din Ali, al-Iqbal bil Aamal al-Hasanah, researcher and editor: Qayoumi Esfahani, Javad, Vol. 1, Pg. 395.

[11] . Sheikh Sadouq, Oyoun Akhbar al-Rida (as), researcher and editor: Lajvardi, Mahdi, Vol. 2, Pg. 16; al-Iqbal bil Aamal al-Hasanah, Vol. 3, Pg. 39.