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Applying Henna or cream before Wudu

Question 638: Salaam. I would like to know if it is necessary to wash hand/feet with soap for wudhu if we have applied lotions/creams containing oil. Also, is wudhu/ghusl valid if we have applied chemical henna that forms a layer which peels of later? You think Applying Henna or cream before Wudu is considered as a barrier to water reaching the skin?

Answer 638: If the effect of lotion or cream that left on the skin after it is applied is nothing but just moisture, and so it does not constitute a barrier to water reaching the skin.[1]  Otherwise, you should wash it with soap or any other thing before you want to perform Wudhu, Ghusl or Tayammum. 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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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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Permissibility of getting a permanent or temporary Tattoo

Question 626: Asallamu ailikum. I would like to know is permanent tattoo on the body Haram and impure and does it invalidate prayers?

Answer 626: Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: Tattoos are permissible and they do not affect wudhu irrespective of whether they are permanent or temporary.[1]

Most of the grand jurists have said in regards to having tattoos: If tattoos are mere color or they are done under the skin and there is no substance on the skin to prevent water from reaching the skin, wudhu, ghusl and prayer are in order.[2] If there are substances on the skin that form obstruction and prevent water from reaching the skin, wudhu, ghusl and prayer would be invalid. [3] In the latter case, the obstruction should first be removed and then one should take action for ghusl. Read More

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Organ Donation / Brain death and Donation of an Organ

Question 404: What is the ruling on organ donation after death?

Answer 404: According to Sayyid Sistani (ha), it is not permissible, as a measure of precaution, to cut an organ of a dead Muslim if he bequeathed, unless a Muslim’s life is in danger.[1]

The grand maraja’ opinions regarding donating or removing the organ of a patient who suffers from brain death are as follows:

Ayatollah Khamenei: Generally speaking, if a patient suffers from irreversible brain damage which results in the disappearance of all kinds of neurological activities associated with deep coma plus inability to respire and response to all motor sensory stimulations and volitional move and if the removal of the organs from the patient described in the question would precipitate his death, it is not permissible. Otherwise, if the removal of such organs is made with his prior permission, or the use of the removed organ is the only way to save a respectful life, there is no objection to it.[2]

Ayatollah Sistani: There is some detail in this matter. If the removal of the particular part or organ would inflect serious harm [on the donor], as in the case of removing an eye or amputating a hand or a foot, it is not permissible. Otherwise, it is permissible, as in the case of skin graft and bone marrow or one kidney, in case the other kidney is healthy assuming that its owner is consenting to it. That is only when the donor is not a child or an insane person. If it were permissible, taking money for it would have also been permissible. It is not permissible to remove any organ from a dead body of a Muslim, such as an eye or the like to transplant it in another’s live body. If such an act was carried out the person who did it must bear the responsibility of paying compensation. It is necessary to bury the severed organ. However, it is not obligatory to remove it after it has been transplanted where the spirit has entered it.

If a patient has died neurologically while his heart and liver are still functioning with the help of a medical apparatus, he is not considered to be dead. Therefore, it is not at all permissible to remove his organs and transplant them to another needy patient.  If the doctor pulls out the plug and the Muslim patient dies because of it, he will be considered killer. There is a problem in enforcing the will [of the deceased] and in allowing the removal of the organ.

Sayyid Sistani (ha) also says: It is permissible to donate our organ upon our death, but it is not permissible, as a measure of precaution, to cut an organ of a dead Muslim if he bequeathed, unless a Muslim’s life is in danger.

Note: An organ extracted from the body is ritually impure (najis) irrespective of whether it came from a Muslim or a non-Muslim. And when it becomes, by rejuvenation, part of a Muslim’s body or of someone who is considered a Muslim, it becomes tãhir.[3]

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi: If brain death is certain and definite and the person is pronounced to be like a dead body (although some of the rules like Ghusl, prayer, shrouding and Ghusl of a dead body do not apply to him), there is no problem in removing his organ to save the life of a Muslim.

Whenever brain death is completely certain and the patient is never likely to reverse to normal life, there is no problem in removing some of his organs (like heart or kidney or other organs) to save the life of a Muslim irrespective of whether he has made a will in this regard or not but it is better to get the consent of the dead body’s guardian.

Ayatollah Saafi Golpaygani:  According to me, it is not permissible to remove the organ of a Muslim who has not died yet, though it is certain that his brain is dead.

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

[2] . For further information, please refer to: the official website of the office of the Supreme Leader, rules regarding Organ Donation.

[3] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Organ Donation.

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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. Read More

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Ziyarat Ghusl: Performing Ghusl for the Ziyarat of Masoomin (as)

Question 596: In terms of ablution, is it then mandatory to do Ziyarat Ghusl or tayammum before entering sacred places or doing salat?

Answer 596: The Fuqaha have mentioned many more Mustahab Ghusls, one of which is Ghusl for the Ziyarat of the Masoomen (A.S.)

The followings are some fatawa of our maraja regarding visiting the holy Shrines of our Infallible Imams (pbuth).

Imam Khomeini (ra): You are supposed to perform Ghusl for the Ziyarat of the holy Shrines of the Imams (as) with the Niyyat of ‘Raja’.

Sayyid Sistani (ha): Performing Ghusl for the Ziyarat of Masoomin (as) has not proved as a Mustahab act, but if one wants to do it, he/she should, as a precaution, perform it with the Niyyat of ‘Raja’, (i.e. with a hope that it might be a desirable act).

Makarem Shirazi (ha), Safi Golpayegani (ha) and the late Bahjat (ra): It is mustahab to perform Ghusl for Ziyarat of Masoomin (as).[1]

Note: If you want to offer the five daily obligatory prayers you have to perform Wudu first. And if there is a barrier preventing water from reaching it you would be allowed to perform Tayammum instead of Wudu or Ghusl.

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

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

Index: The validity of Ghusl even a barrier finds out after a week, answer 031.

Index: Number of things which invalidate Wudu (ablution), answer 556.

[1] . Risalah Tawzih al-Masael of Nine Marja, edited by Rashedi, Haaj Sheikh Latif, Pgs. 367-368, under issue 645, Payam Edalat Publication, Omidvar Publisher, first edition; The official website of the office of grand Ayatollah Saafi Golpayegani, Q&A section, Fiqhi questions, Mustahab prayer, q 374.

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Rules concerning Janabat during the holy month of Ramadan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Impermissibility of making Wudu after Ghusl

Question 035: Is it obligatory to make wudu after ghusl in order to offer prayers?

Answer 035: Grand Ayatollahs Imam Khomeini, Bahjat, Khamenei and Saafi: One who has performed jinabat ghusl mustn’t perform wudu in order to offer his prayers, but one must perform wudu after he has performed another obligatory or mustahab ghusl.
Ayatollah Fazel: One who has performed jinabat ghusl mustn’t perform wudu if he wants to offer his prayers. If one has performed other obligatory ghusl, except medium Istihadah ghusl, then one would be able to offer his\her prayers without wudu, although it is better to perform wudu as well.

Grand Ayatollahs Khoei, Tabrizi, Sistani, Noori, Zanjani and Vahid: One who has performed jinabat ghusl mustn’t perform wudu in order to offer prayers. If one has performed other mustahab and obligatory ghusl except medium Istihadah ghusl, one would be able to offer his\her prayers without wudu, although one is supposed to perform wudu as well, according to a recommended (mustahab) precaution.

Ayatollah Makarem: One is allowed to offer his prayer by any obligatory and mustahab ghusl such as jinabat or other one, but, according to a recommended precaution, one should perform wudu if he has performed other ghusl but jinabat.

In Conclusion: One has to perform wudu if he\she wants to offer his\her prayers, however he has performed a mustahab ghusl, according to the fatwa of grand Ayatollahs Imam Khomeini, Bahjat, Khamenei, Safi Golpayegani and Fazel Lankarani.

However, according to the fatwa of grand Ayatollahs Khoei, Tabrizi, Sistani, Makarem, Noori, Zanjani and Vahid, one is allowed to offer his prayer by mustahab ghusl, however, according to a recommended precaution, one is supposed to perform wudu if he has performed mustahab ghusl.

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: A person who does Ghusl of Janabat should not do Wudhu for the prayers. In fact one can offer prayers without performing Wudhu after all Wajib Ghusls (except the bath for medium istihaza) as well as after Mustahab Ghusls. In the case of Mustahab Ghusls, however, it is better to do Wudhu as a recommended precaution.[1]

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’, issues 391 & 646; Tawzih al-Masael, Ayatollah Wahid, rule 397; Ayatollah Noori, rules 392 & 647.

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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.