Rules concerning a menstruating woman

Question 646: What are the rules concerning a menstruating woman, according to Islamic Fiqh?

Answer 646: The follwoings are some rules concerning a menstruating woman.

Firstly: It is not permissible for a menstruating woman to offer prayers, keep fast, perform circumambulation of Ka’bah (Tawaf) or sit in an uninterrupted seclusion (I‘tikãf). Read More


Four of the Prophets are Alive / two are in the Heavens and tow are in Land

Question 277: Assalamu alayka ya dear brothers and sisters wa rahmatullahi wa barakatoh. Can someone briefly relate me what states have Hazrat Idris (a.s.), Hazrat Khidr (a.s.), Hazrat Iliya (a.s.) reach, if there are differences between each of theirs states, how they reach these states, and what is their present and future relation with our 12th Imam (mAhhr) ?

I ask this because, I heard that there are five persons that literaly elevated to heaven before death and taken to unknown celestial realm and continue to live there, each one of them are in different state, until the reapparenc oh the Mahdi (mAhhr).

May Allah reward you.

Answer 277: Four of the prophets are alive two of whom are in the heavens: Jesus and Edris, and two of them are in the land: Khidr and Elias, Ilyas (Elias). As for Khidr, he is in the sea but his companion is in the land.”[1]

Prophet Jesus: In the Holy Quran Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Jesus (as) as follows: “and for their saying,” We killed the Messiah, Jesus son of Mary, the apostle of Allah” though they did not kill him nor did they crucify him, but so it was made to appear to them. Indeed those who differ concerning him are surely in doubt about him: they do not have any knowledge of that beyond following conjectures, and certainly they did not kill him”.[2]

In other verse of the holy Quran Allah, the Almighty says: “When Allah said,” O Jesus, I shall take you] r soul [, and I shall raise you up toward Myself[3]”.

According to the previous verses of the holy Quran, we can come to the conclusion that the Prophet Jesus (as) is still alive. He is in the Heaven, though, considering the meaning of the word ‘Mutawaffika‘’ mentioned in the verse, the Prophet’s soul had been taken and He brought back to Allah, according to some interpreters of the holy Quran. [4]

Prophet Ilyas: It is said that Prophet Ilyas (Elias) is in the Heaven, too. He had been inviting people of the Baalbek to the Prophet Musa’s Shariah Law for 22 years. Some say that Prophet Ilyas is Prophet Idris (Enoch). They say: He was one of the Harun’s children and the Prophet Khidr’s brother.[5]

Prophet Khidr: Khidr is one of the four prophets recognizes as being alive. It is said that He drank from the water of life and is alive forever. He is at the Sa’sa’ah and Sahlah Mosques. Sayyid ibn Tawus narrated that when Imam Ali (as) martyred Prophet Khidr participated in the funeral. He went to Imam Hasan and Hussain (pbuth) condoled them and showed them the place of the Prophet Noah’s (as) grave.[6]

Some hadiths and verses of the Quran imply that he was a prophet and messenger of Allah (swt) to his tribe and people, to invite them to tawhid (the oneness of God) and accepting Allah’s (swt) prophets and the divine books. His miracle was that whenever desired, he could revive any dead and dry branch or dry and barren land, making it green again, thus being given the title “Khidhr”. His real name is Talya ibn Malekan ibn Aber ibn Arafkhshad (ارفخشد) ibn Sam ibn Nuh.

As for the prolonged life of this prophet, we would like to draw your attention to a hadith from Imam Sadiq (as): “… As for the servant of Allah (swt) Khidr, Allah (swt) extended his life, but not because of his prophetic mission, nor in order to reveal a book onto him, nor to nullify through him, the religion of the past prophets, nor for him to become leader to a nation following him, nor for the obedience that Allah (swt) had made obligatory upon him, but He (Allah (swt)) extended his life because He chosen to lengthen the occultation of the Qa’im (Imam Mahdi (as)) and knew that some of the people would begin doubting about him as a result, so He lengthened the life of this good servant of His in order for it to be reason for accepting the long life of the Qa’im and so that his life would be compared with the imam’s, rejecting the objection and criticism of the enemies and the bad-minded.[7]

He is, without a doubt, still alive and is currently more than six thousand years old.[8]

Prophet Idris: According to the following verse of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says about the Prophet Idris, He is still alive. “And mention in the Book Idris. Indeed he was a truthful one, a prophet”.[9]

The two Prophets who are in the Heaven, Prophet Idris and Jesus. And the two are still alive and are in the land, Prophet Khidr and Ilyas.

Prophet Idris’ name mentioned twice in the Quran, he has revered and celebrated as truthful, prophet, patient, righteous etc. Prophet Idris is among the grandsons of Prophet Seth reaching Adam (a.s.) through five intermediaries. One of his grandfathers is Prophet Noah (a.s.). Most historians have said that he lived 365 years before his ascension, or his death according to another report. Based on narrations, four of the prophets are still alive two of whom i.e. Prophet Khizr and Prophet Ilyas (Elias), peace be upon them, are living on earth and the two others i.e. Prophet Idris and Prophet Jesus, peace be upon them are in the heavens.

Allamah Tabatabai (RA) interpreting the verse 65 of Surah al-Kahf (Then they found one from among Our servants whom We had granted mercy from Us and whom We had taught knowledge from Ourselves[10]) appertained to Prophet Moses (AS) and Prophet Khidr (AS) quotes narrations from a number of Sunni and Shia sources about some prophets being alive.

Among the narrations he has quoted is a tradition from Jalaluddin in his Al-Durr al-Manthur which is narrated from Shahin from Khasif that says:[11]

«أربعة من الأنبیاء أحیاء اثنان فی السماء: عیسى و إدریس، و اثنان فی الأرض الخضر و إلیاس- فأما الخضر فإنه فی البحر و أما صاحبه فإنه فی البر»

It is noteworthy that this narration is also available in Shia sources but it is narrated from Sunni sources.[12]

Those Prophets and Imams (pbuth) who will return and accompany Imam Mahdi’s (ajtf) reappearance: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) says: “When the Twelfth Imam (aj) appears and leadership is passed on to him, at that time, the Prophet (pbuh) and Amir al-Muminin (as) shall appear. Amir al-Muminin will carry with him a cane and a branding iron.[13]

Upon the cane there is a figure which reads ‘bismillah’ (in the name of Allah), which he will use to mark the foreheads of those who are believers. The figure upon the branding iron reads ‘bismilkafir’ (in the name of disbelievers), which he will use to brand the foreheads of the disbelievers. This way, believers and disbelievers will once again be distinguished. At that time, all of the Imams (as) shall return to assist Amir al-Muminin (as) and Imam Mahdi (aj). Prophets who endures much hardship and strife in the way of Allah, such as Zakariyyah (Zachary), Yahya (John), Hizqil (Ezekiel), and other Prophets which were injured or killed at the hands of the disbelievers shall also return to this world. Verily, news has been given to me of their reappearance to bring about swift retribution to their killers and oppressors as well as seek justice from those who spilt the blood of Hussain (as).”[14]

Narrations pertaining to the reappearance of the Twelfth Imam (aj) state that Prophet Isa (Jesus) (as) shall be once again sent to this world at the permission of Allah. He shall appear before everyone as one of the companions of Imam Mahdi (aj) and shall stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is narrated that the Holy Prophet said: “I swear by that which has instated me as a bearer of the truth, if there remains but one day to this world, Allah shall prolong that day until my son Mahdi (aj) reappears. After his reappearance, Prophet Isa (Jesus) Ruhollah (as) will descend to this world and will stand in prayer behind the Imam. It is then that Allah shall light up the world with His Light, and the government of Imam Mahdi shall encompass everywhere from east to west.”

Imam Sadiq (as) says: The first Imam to return is Imam Hussein (as), after which he will govern [the Islamic nation] for a lengthy period of time. He will govern for so many years that his eyebrows will cover his eyes as a result of old age.[15]

[1] . Tabatabai, Sayyid Muhammad Hussein, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir al-Qur’an, vol.13, p. 353, Islamic Publications Office, Qom, fifth edition, 1417.

[2] . Surah al-Nisa, verse 157.

[3] . Surah Ale Emran, verse 55.

[4] . Tafsir Nemooneh, Vol. 2, Pg. 431.

[5] . Emad Zadeh Esfahani, Qasas Qurani, Pg. 680.

[6] . Ibid.

[7] . Kamaluddin, vol. 3, pg. 357; Biharul-Anwar, vol. 51, pg. 222.

[8] . Yawmul-Khalas, pg. 157.

[9] . Surah Maryam, verse 56.

[10] . Surah Kahf, verse 65. «فَوَجَدا عَبْداً مِنْ عِبادِنا آتَیناهُ رَحْمَةً مِنْ عِنْدِنا وَ عَلَّمْناهُ مِنْ لَدُنَّا عِلْماً»

[11] . Suyuti, Jalaluddin, al-Durr al-Manthur fi Tafsir al-Ma’thur, vol.4, p. 239, Ayatollah Mar’ashi Najafi Library, Qom, 1404 A.H.

[12] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Behar al-Anwar, vol13, p. 402, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Beirut, second dition, 1403 A.H; Ibn Tavus, Ali bin Musa, Sa’ad al-Saud Lil-Nofus Mandhud, p. 163 – 164, Dar al-Dhakhaer, Qom, first edition (date missing).

[13] . In Arabic: میسم.

[14] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, translation of 13th volume by Davani, pg.1165.

[15] . Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Biharul-Anwar, vol. 53, pg.46.


Date of Construction of the holy Shrine of the Infallible Imams (pbuth)

Question 029: How were the great constructions of the holy shrine built around the dead Imams (as) during the time of the caliphs when the Shia were oppressed? Did the caliphs who opposed the building of the shrines not destroy them? The Sunni Caliphs opposed Shia Muslims building Shrine over the Imams’ (a.s) graves and destroyed any shrine they built, but the followers of Ahlul Bayt (a.s) didn’t retreated and then they tried all their best and despite the dangerous situation obtained there, they have been built shrines for the Imams’ (a.s) graves.

Answer 029: Constructing a Mosque, dome or even putting a few stones over graves was a Sunna among people of the time of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Infallible Imams (pbuth).

When Lady Fatimah bint Asad (a.s) passed away, the Holy Prophet (PBUH) buried her in a mosque where it is known as the grave of Fatimah.[1] During the time of Treaty of Hudaibiya, a mosque were built over the grave of Abu Basir by Abu Jandal and when the Holy Prophet (saws) realized He didn’t prohibit this action.[2]

The Holy Prophet’s (saws) shrine was built by the companions and it has been expanded and rebuilt by the caliphs and Muslims. E.g. Umar ibn Al-Khattab built a wall around the grave of the Holy Prophet (PBUH), Al-Walid ibn Abd al-Malik destroyed the Holy Prophet’s (saws) house in order to rebuild it and expand His holy shrine.[3] None of Muslims and Caliphs on that time protest against these constructions over the graves of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and others like Safiya bint Abdul Motallib, Umm Salam, Umm Habibah, Aqil, Abraham.[4]

During the second and even third century of the Hegira, none of Shia and Sunni great scholars on that time have protested against these construction over the graves. This means, it was not consider as Shirk among them. Many constructions and mosques have been built over the graves of Talha, Zubair, Salamn Farsi, Sa’dat bin Ebada, Ma’az bin Jabal, Aqaba bin Amer, Muhammad bin Abi Bakr and his sister Asma, Ibn Zubair, Abi al-Hasan Deenwari the great Egyptian scholar, Anas bin Malik, Sahl bin Abdullah Tostari and etc.  There had been built domes over the graves of many of Sunni Leaders, Abu Hanifah, Muhammad bin Idris, Ahmad bin Hanbal and etc. during the Late Third Century, Early Fourth Century.[5]

The Holy Shrine of Imam Ali (as) had been built by Harun al-Rashid during the Second Century of Hegira. (Mufid, al-Irshad, Pg. 19.)

The first Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as) had been built by Mukhtar al-Thaqafi.[6]

The graves of those Imams (pbuh) buried in Baqī’ were rebuilt by Majdul Malik’s order during the Fifth Century of Hegira. It was rebuilt again and again by the Caliphs.[7]

But, during the Seventh Century of Hegira, Wahhabis have been destroying the Holy Shrines of our Infallible Imams (pbuth), according to the Fatwa of Ibn Teimiya and His student Muhammad bin Abi Bakr Ibn Qayyim.[8]

The first Holy Shrine they had destroyed was the Holy Shrine of Imam Hussain (as), then destroyed domes of the holy shrines of the Imams of Baqi (pbuth).[9]

We can come to the conclusion that building any edifices around their graves is like building a mosque over the graves of the Companions of the Cave and a  place deemed to be for worshippers. The facilities existing around or near the shrines are meant for the convenience of the pilgrims or they are symbols of Islamic art and they are manifestations of negative things in connection with graves. Therefore, they cannot be considered as invalid and unacceptable from legal or religious perspective.  It is prudent to mention that a similar situation which is the demand of the moment can be seen with some holy sites in the Two Holy Sanctuaries with structures and edifices being made.  For instance:

  1. Despite the fact that according to Shia and Sunni traditions, worshipping on Mount Safa has a lot of reward, today a fence has been built around it to protect it and a also a tomb has been erected on top of it. The pilgrims of the House of Allah can stand only near the rails and engage in praying. Moreover, the ritual of Sa’y between Safa and Marwa which used to be performed on an open ground is now performed on different floors or levels with ceilings. The reason is the increasing number of pilgrims performing hajj rituals each year.
  2. It is necessary to observe the respect and sanctity of Ka’aba under any circumstances to the extent that according to some narrations, building any structures or buildings higher than the Ka’aba is considered to be abominable (makrooh)[10] but today there are buildings, towers and skyscrapers many times higher than the Ka’abah. Certainly, the need of pilgrims of the House of Allah is the only justification presented in this regard.[11]

Now our question is that is it not possible to create, under these justifications, accommodations and build a roofed facility for pilgrims who face a lot of difficulties while performing pilgrimage?  If building a tomb over Safa and Marwa mountains is not a sign of shirk (act of worshipping something other than the One God), how can the same tomb on top of the graves of the noble servants of God be a sign of shirk?

In closing, the reader is advised to take notice of narration cited from Sahih Bukhari. The narrator quotes Sufyan Tammar as saying, “I saw the grave of the Prophet (S) like a hump of camel (something like a small tomb).”[12]

When the population of Muslims was small and the graves had been built in such a way that they looked like small tombs, what would be the problem, if a bigger tomb is built in the present time when Muslim population has grown manifold?

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

– Vafa al-Vafa, Vol. 3, Pg. 3.

– al-Maghazi; adopted from A’alam –al-Rake al-Sajed, Vol. Pg. 17.

– Kashf ul-Ertiyab, Pg. 314, Vafa al-Vafa, VBol. 2, Pg. 109.

Ibid, Pgs. 316-317.

– Siyanat al-A’thar, Pgs. 79-80.

[1] . Ali bin Ahmad al-Samhudi, Vol. 3, Pg. 3

[2] . Al-Maghazi, Vol. 1, Pg. 17

[3] . Amin, Pgs. 313-316&317; Ali bin Ahmad al-Samhudi, Vol. Vol. 2, Pg. 109.

[4] . Sobhani, Siyanatul A’thar, Pgs. 79&80.

[5] . Ibn Jawzi, Vol. 16, Pg. 100; Ibn Batuta, Vol. 1, Pg. 172; Ibn Batuta, Vol. 1, Pgs. 65-26-173.

[6] . Khalili, Vol. 8, Pg. 182.

[7] . Ibn Athir, Vol. 8, Pg. 214.

[8] . Ibn Taemiya, Eqtidha al-Sirat al-Mustaqeem, Pgs. 184-187; Ibn Qayyim, Pg. 504.

[9] . Amin, Pgs. 287-288.

[10]. Hurr Amili, Muhammad bin Al-Hasan, Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.13, p. 235, chap. 17, Aalulbayt Institution, Qom, 1409 A.H.

[11] .Ibid.

[12]. Sahih Bukhari, vol.2, p. 106, Dar al-Fikr, Beirut, 1401 A.H.


The best place for a woman to pray is at home or mosque

Question 015: According to some hadith, it is recommended for a woman to pray in her home as well as there are rewards for participation in congregational prayer. A wife in Islam is suppose to obey her husband except if he is asking something that is contrary to the teachings of Islam.

Do the rewards for congregational prayer only apply for men since there are hadith that say the best place to pray for a woman is at home? Does a husband have the right to tell his wife that she has to stay at home and pray, since a wife has to gain the permission of her husband to leave the home? If the wife is not permitted to leave the home to participate in congregational prayer, does she get the rewards equal to what the men get when they go to the mosque for congregational prayer, since it has been recommended by hadith for her to do so? If a wife is given permission to participate in congregational prayer will her rewards be less than if she were to pray at home?

Answer 015: The man has certain rights over his wife. One of those rights is that she must obey him. The woman has the responsibility toward her husband not to go out of his home without his permission. If both the man and woman understand, trust, love and believe each other, the man should let her go to offer her prayers at a mosque.

There are two different opinions, according to the Holy Qur’an and traditions:

  1. The best place to pray for a woman is at home
  2. Women are allowed to pray at mosque

The Holy Qur’an: “And stay quietly in your houses, and make not a dazzling display, like that of the former Times of Ignorance.” [1]

So, the best place to pray for women is at her house. [2]

“O Prophet! Tell thy wives and daughters, and the believing women, that they should cast their outer garments over their persons (when out of doors that is most convenient, that they should be known as such and not molested). And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [3]

So, Islam has ordered women to have hijab in order to be protected.

Ahadith: The Holy Prophet (pbuh) and Imam Sadiq (as) says: a woman who prays at home will get equal reward as praying at a mosque. They also say: if a woman prays at her house she will get more rewards than praying at other places. [4]

According to some scholars, it is recommended for a woman to take part in social activities and offer her prayers at mosque which is one of the best recommended act in Islam.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh), Imam Hasan, Imam Sadiq (pbuth) say: Offer your prayers at mosques. The Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Imams (pbuth) didn’t say only men are allowed to pray at a mosque, so women can offer their prayers at mosque too.[5]

The believing women offered their prayers with the Holy Prophet (pbuh). [6]

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) recommended that men should not prevent your wives from going to the mosques. [7]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: It is recommended for women to attend congregational prayers as evidenced by an authentic tradition from the Commander of the Faithful, Ali (AS) that women used to attend congregational prayers but they were ordered to linger their sajda (prostration) because some men were wearing tight garments but there is another authentic tradition which says that a woman’s prayer at home is more virtuous than her prayer in a mosque. However, the conclusion that can be drawn from both traditions is that a woman’s prayer at a place where she is not seen by non-mahram men (strangers) is more virtuous. If she can perform her prayers in a mosque without being seen by strangers, the prayer in a mosque would be more virtuous in that case. God knows best.[8]

In conclusion, if her husband allow her pray at mosque she will get the rewards, if not and she offers her prayers at home she will receive the same rewards. In sha Allah.

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

Index: Philosophy of Hijab during prayer, answer 020.

Index: Men and Women: Covering body in prayers, answer 594.

[1] . Surah Ahzab, verse 33.

[2] . Sayyid Quṭb, In Tafsir Fi Zilal Al-Quran, Vol. 5. Pg. 2859.

[3] . Surah Ahzab, verse 59.

[4] . Wasaiel al-Shia, Vol. 5, Pg. 237, Allamah Majlesi, Bihar al-Anwar, Vol. 80, Pg. 371; Sheikh Saduq, Man la yahduruhu al-Faqih, Vol. 1, Pg. 374, H 1088; Abul Qasim Payandeh, Nahjul Fasahah, Pg. 474, H 1532.

[5] . Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 7, Pg. 650, Mustadrakul Wasail, Vol. 3, Pg. 554&659, H 785; Nahjul Fasaha, Pg. 596, H 3083; Mustadrakul Wasail, Vol. 7, Pg. 659.

[6] . Sunan Ibn Majeh, Vol.1, Pg. 137, H 565 & 566, Sheikh Ali Namzi Shahroodi, Mustadrak Safinatul Bihar, Vol.1, Pg. 209.

[7] . Sunan Abu Dawood, Vol. 1, Pg. 155, H 565, 566, 567 & 568; Kanz al-Ummal, Vol. 11, Pg. 677, H 20872.

[8] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A: Mass Prayer.