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Masturbation and forget performing Ghusl in Ramadan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fast in countries with long days

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Other Translation:

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

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

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

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

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

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Ascribing lies to Allah and his Prophet while fasting

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

Jazak Allah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Fasting on Arafat Day / Mustahab Fast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Related Link: Facebook

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

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

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

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The Virtues of the Day of Arafat / Fast on this Day

Question 155: What are the virtues of the day of Arafat? Is it haram to fast on this Day?

Answer 155: There are numerous virtues claimed for the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj.

There are also many prayers in Shia literature, including performing Ghusl and the famous supplication known as “Du’a ‘Arafah” ascribed to Imam Husayn ibn Ali (AS), that are to be recited on this day as well as fasting, forgiveness of the sins (it is expected that Allah will expiate the sins committed the previous year) and etc. that are some of the Importance and the Virtues of the Day of Arafa.[1]

Arabic version:

عَلِيٌّ عَنْ أَبِيهِ قَالَ: رَأَيْتُ عَبْدَ اللَّهِ بْنَ جُنْدَبٍ فِي الْمَوْقِفِ فَلَمْ أَرَ مَوْقِفاً كَانَ أَحْسَنَ مِنْ مَوْقِفِهِ مَا زَالَ مَادّاً يَدَيْهِ إِلَى السَّمَاءِ وَ دُمُوعُهُ تَسِيلُ عَلَى خَدَّيْهِ حَتَّى تَبْلُغَ الْأَرْضَ. فَلَمَّا صَدَرَ النَّاسُ قُلْتُ لَهُ: يَا أَبَا مُحَمَّدٍ مَا رَأَيْتُ مَوْقِفاً قَطُّ أَحْسَنَ مِنْ مَوْقِفِكَ! قَالَ: وَ اللَّهِ مَا دَعَوْتُ إِلَّا لِإِخْوَانِي وَ ذَلِكَ أَنَّ أَبَا الْحَسَنِ مُوسَى (ع) أَخْبَرَنِي أَنَّ مَنْ دَعَا لِأَخِيهِ بِظَهْرِ الْغَيْبِ نُودِيَ مِنَ الْعَرْشِ وَ لَكَ مِائَةُ أَلْفِ ضِعْفٍ، فَكَرِهْتُ أَنْ أَدَعَ مِائَةَ أَلْفٍ مَضْمُونَةٍ لِوَاحِدَةٍ لا أَدْرِي تُسْتَجَابُ أَمْ لا.

According to Imam Ali (AS), Arafat is the Place where it is out of Haram of Allah. Muhrim (after wearing the ihram) needs to go out of Mecca, out of the Haram and then come back later on after a few obligations and supplicate to Allah in order to be deserving inter to the Haram of Allah. The reason one is supposed to do so is that a person who comes from his polluted tedious life into such a Holy place, he is not prepared for it and for this reason he is sent to such plains and valleys so that he can be trained and made capable of going to the Kaaba.[2]

Therefore, in the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “And when We made the House a place Of assembly for mankind and a place Of safety, We stated:” Take you] People [the Station of Ibrahim as a Place for prayer.” And We Commanded Ibrahim and Ismail:” You should Sanctify My House for those who Compass it round, or use it as a place For Divine retreat, or bow or Prostrate [in prayer].””[3]

One’s condition is recognized when one visits the House of Allah, and the style of circumambulating shows how engrossed the person was in his daily mundane earlier. This is why he is sent to Arafah where he spends half a day then a whole night in Muzdalifah, following 3 days in Mina and then he returns back to the Haram of God. Imam says that Allah has kept His Wisdom behind this sequence. He wants a person to leave the old routine and be prepared to that extent that he can step into the next phase.

Imam Ali (as) says, it is the day to recognize yourself and your Creator. The famous saying which goes, “Whoever recognizes himself, recognizes his Creator” (man ‘arafa nafsahu faqad ‘arafa Rabbahu) is narrated for this Day.[4]

The Day of Arafah is the “Day of Acceptance and Confession”. This confession is of many things which can lead us to our sublime goal, confession of us being servants of God, confession of Allah being the Supreme Lord, confession of our sins, defects, ignorance, immoralities, mistakes, failure, and confession of Allah’s Mercy, Benevolence, and Forgiveness.[5]

Note: It is Makrooh to fast on ‘Ashura (10th of Muharram). It is also Makrooh to fast on the day about which one is not sure whether it is the day of ‘Arafa or Eid-ul-Azha. But, it is haraam to fast on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Azha.[6]

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

Index: Fasting on Arafat Day / Mustahab Fast, answer 455.

Related Link: Facebook

[1] . Kuleini, Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 508.

[2] . Kuleini, Al-Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 224.

[3] . Surah Al-Bagharah, verse 125.

[4] . Mafatihul Jinan, Dua Kumail.

[5] . For further information in this regards, please refer to Mafatih al-Jinan.

[6] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning “Fasting » Haraam and Makrooh fasts”.

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Nazr, Religious vows of Imam Sadiq on the 22nd Rajab

Question 343: Assalam o alAikum, I wanted to ask about Nazr (Religious vows) of 22nd Rajab ul Murjib. Which relates with Imam Jafer Sadiq as. In Pakistan and India Sunni and Shia are observing it every year. But, as I came across with some Saudi , Lebanese and Bahraini shia, they are not aware of it. Kindly explain

Answer 343: In Shia sources, there has not been mentioned any hadith related to this topic. Perhaps, the reason why the 22th day of Rajab has been considered as a joyful day unto the believer is that an enemy of Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) had been killed on this day, according to Sheikh Mufid.[1]

So, as a sign of gratitude for the perdition of the enemy (i.e. Muʿāwiyah ibn ʾAbī Ṣufyān), it is Mustahab to fast on this day.[2]

[1] . Sheikh Mufid, Muhammad bin Muhammad, Masar al-Shia, Pg. 59, Sheikh Mufid Congress, Qom, 1413 A.H.

[2] . Sayyid ibn Tawus, Iqbal al-A’mal, Pg. 667, Dar al-Kutub al-Islmaiya, Tehran, 1988; Ibid, Pg. 176.

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Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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How to Repent from Sins committed in the month of Ramadan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

To repent over the past.

To make a firm determination never to revert to it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

http://www.narconon.org/;

http://www.aa.org/;

https://nicotine-anonymous.org/.

[1] . Holy Qur’an, 35:28.

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

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

[4] . Surah Shoura, verse 25.

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

[6] . Surah Hud, verse 114.

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

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

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

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

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

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

[13] . Surah Yūsuf 12:87.

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

[15] . Surah An’am, verse 121.

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

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

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

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

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Number of things which are Makruh for a person observing fast

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation)

Question 372: what is the kaffarah for one day of not fasting Ramadan? (besides fasting 60 days)

Answer 372: There are nine acts which invalidate fast as follows:  1) Eating and drinking. 2) Sexual intercourse. 3) Masturbation (Istimna) which means self-abuse, resulting in ejaculation. 4) Ascribing false things to Allah, the Almighty or his Prophet or to the successors of the Holy Prophet (pbuth). 5) Swallowing thick dust. 6) Immersing one’s complete head in water. 7) Remaining in Janabat or Haidh or Nifas till the Adhan for Fajr prayers. 8) Enema with liquids. 9) Vomiting.

Commission of the things which invalidate fast as mentioned earlier are a cause of expiation in the same way as they make it obligatory to compensate for it, when it is done deliberately and willingly without any coercion, according to the more cautious opinion, as regards lying about Allah, the Exalted, His Prophet, Blessing be on him and his Progeny, and the Imams, Peace be upon them, and dipping in water, and having enema, and according to the stronger opinion, in case of the rest; rather, in case of lying about them, (Peace be upon them) is also not devoid of force. Of course, according to the stronger opinion, vomiting does not make it obligatory.

According to the more cautious opinion, in this respect there is no difference between the person knowing and an ignorant person who is neglectful. As regards an incapable (or interdicted) person who fails to pay heed to make query apparently it is not obligatory on him, though it would be more cautious (in his case too).

Note:  Here are three types of expiations (Kaffarah) for giving up the fast of the month of Ramadãn:

Emancipation of a slave, keeping fast for two months consecutively and feeding sixty indigent persons, whichever is chosen by him, though, it is more cautious to select one of them according to the above order, if possible. It is more cautious to perform all the three types of expiations if a person has broken his fast by something prohibited, such as eating something usurped, drinking wine, or having a prohibited sexual intercourse, or the like.

According to the stronger opinion, expiation is not repeated with the repetition of its cause in a single day, including performance of sexual intercourse, even if the type of its cause differs, but caution must not be given up in case of performance of sexual intercourse.

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

A person who intends fasting for two months as a Kaffarah for a fast of Ramadhan, should fast continuously for one month and one day, and it would not matter if he did not maintain continuity for completion of the remaining fasts.

As regards the payment of expiation by feeding the poor it may be done either by feeding them to their full or by giving each of them a Mudd of wheat, barley, flour, rice, bread, or any other foodstuff, though, it is more cautious to give two Mudds. It is not sufficient in a single expiation to feed a single person twice or several time times or giving him two or more Mudds, when sixty poor persons are available, rather it would be indispensable that there should be sixty poor persons. If a person has a family (of several members), it shall be permissible to give him according to one Mudd for each member, provided that there is surety that the person shall feed them or give the food to them. One Mudd is equal to a quarter Sà’, and a Sã’ is equal to 214 ¼ Mithqals.[1]

Other Translation:

نمایه: چیزهایی که روزه را باطل می کند / آنچه که برای روزه دار مکروه است، سوال شماره 37.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 931, Q 1660 & 1661;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Pg. 289;  The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Sistani (ha), rules concerning things which make a Fast void, issue #1582.

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Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl

Question 034: I used to masturbate, for the past few years, without knowing it was haram and that it voids the prayers and the fasts. I didn’t take the ghusl (ritual bath) and was fasting and praying in this impure state. Today I understand my mistake, but I don’t remember how many times I did it, nor how many fast/prayers it concerns. I’m 14 years old, and I don’t know which rules apply to me in order to pay the Qadha, as I didn’t know it was haram. I think I’ve missed at least three months of fasts. What’s the rule for someone who ignored that masturbation was illicit? I follow Ayatullah Khamenei.

Answer 034: Undoubtedly, one must make qada, as all the fasting and prayers have been done in the state of Janabat, according to Ayatollah Khomeini, Bahjat, Tabrizi, Khamenei, Makarem, Vahid and Sobhani.[1] If he\she knew that, his\her prayer and fasting in this state is regarded as invalid. What should one do if the one didn’t know the rule concerning this issue nor knew that performing ghusl is required for doing such acts?

Remember, to act based on your own marja’ ruling. Here are some of the answers of our contemporary scholars concerning this issue, as follows:

According to Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace), who had replied to the question: What is the ruling on a woman who ignorantly didn’t know the rules concerning womens ihtilam and then she has done her worships without ghusl? He replied as follows: If they weren’t sure that they have become polluted, (jonob) there would be no need to compensate those prayers that have been offered in that state, however in any case, her fasting were considered as valid.

According to Ayatollah Khamenei, one must make qada for those of her prayers that have been offered in the state of janabat, but her fasting is considered as valid and doesn’t need to compensate it if she didn’t know the rules concerning the janabat itself.
According to Ayatollah Bahjat, one who doesn’t know that janabat ghusl is obligatory, his\her prayers that have been offered in that state are void and must compensate them.
Ayatollah Makarem has said, as long as the woman has performed hayd ghusl (as it is sufficient by which she doesn’t need to perform janabat ghusl), those of her prayers and fasting that have been done after the ghusl, are treated as valid. Those prayers that have been offered before performing ghusl and in the state of janabat are void and must be compensated. One who has become polluted by doing haram act is able to perform his\her ghusl by hot water.

According to Ayatollah Sistani, Safi Golpayegani and Fazel (ha): if you didn’t neglect learning Islamic laws your fasts have been done in this state would be in order, but you must perform Ghusl and fulfill the qaza of your prayers.[2]

Ayatollah Noori, Your fast is in order, but you have to qadha all your prayers offered in the state of Janabat.[3]

Note: Self-satisfaction which is referred to as masturbation or Istimna’ is a major sin and haram and has a heavy punishment.

In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Say [that Allah declares,] ” O My servants who have committed excesses against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah. Indeed Allah will forgive all sins. Indeed He is the All-forgiving, the All-merciful.”[4]

[1] . Ayatollah Tabrizi, Serat al-Najat, Vol. 1, Q 107; Minhaj al-Salehin, Vol. 1, after rule 1004;  Ayatollah Wahid, Minhaj al-Salehin, Vol. 2, after rule 1004;  Sitiftaat, Vol. 1, Fasting, Q 31, Ayatollah Khamenei, Q 194.

[2] . Ayatollah Sistani, Minhaj al-Salehin, Vol, after rule 1004;  Ayatollah Fazel, Jame al-Masael, Vol. 1, Q 558.

[3] . Ayatollah Noori, Istiftaat, Vol. 2, Q 96.

[4] . Surah al-Zumar, verse 53.