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Shaking Hand with Non-Muslim Break Wudu?

Question 644: Sir, is Shaking Hand with Non-Muslim Break Wudu? I take admission in Canada University for my mtech programs in civil engineering, we have international university there which means that people from all sects weather hindu, Buddhist, Cristian, Jews, Sikhs, and all others study there. Read More

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Ahlul Kitab are ritually pure: Permanent Marriage with them

Question 081: Salaams dear Sheikh. Does any of the Maraji’ allow permanent marriage with a person from the People of the Book, what is their ruling on the purity/impurity of such persons?

Answer 081: Our maraja have different opinions regarding permanent marriage with People of the Book as follows:

Imam Khomeini: As an obligatory precaution, it is impermissible to get married to People of the Book. Of course, Imam Khumayni (rah) has said in this issue (the issue of permanent marriage with non-Muslim women who are of the People of the Book) that it is an obligatory precaution, which means those who follow him can refer to the verdict of another jurist who says such a marriage is permissible and follow him instead. Read More

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Rules of keeping animal like Pigeons at home

Question 376: Is it allowed to have pets in Islam? For our own entertainment, we imprisoned them. If feels inhuman a bit. Need your guidance in this regard. But, I’ve read a saying of Imam Jaffar As Sadiq a.s to have Pigeons in homes because Shaitan remains away due to the sound feathers of the bird make. So, has Imam a.s ordered to imprison Pigeons? What is the rules of keeping animal like pigeons at home?

Answer 376: According to maraja’ (ha), there is no objection in keeping animals, but it is befitting for faithful individuals to have a (rational) purpose behind keeping them, but the rules concerning purity and offering prayers should be observed. Hence, if the hair of an unclean animal like dog is with a person, the prayers which he offers would be void. Its excretion and urine are Najis (ritually impure).[1] 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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Mutahhirat: Transfer clean an Insect Blood

Question 600: In the act of Intiqal where if a creature lands on you and sucks your blood, you can whack them and for some animals, the blood (Insect Blood) doesn’t make your skin najis, is that the same thing for lice?

Answer 600: There are number of things that clean other unclean things. 1. Water 2. The Land, 3. The Sun 4. Transformation (Istihala) 5. 2/3 Evaporation 6. Transfer (Intiqal) 7. Islam 8. Dependency (Taba’iyat) 9. Removal of the Actual Unclean Substance 10. Disappearance of a Muslim 11. Purification (Istibra) of animal which feeds on najasat 12. Draining of the usual quantity of blood from the slaughtered body of an animal.[1]

As it is previously mentioned, transfer (Intiqal) is a cause of cleanness of an unclean substance. This means that if the blood of a human being, or of an animal whose blood gushes forth when its large vein is cut, is sucked by an insect, normally known to be bloodless, and it becomes part of its body, the blood becomes Pak. This process is called Intiqal. But when a blood-sucking leech sucks human blood during some treatment, it will be najis, because it is not considered as part of its body it is considered as human blood.[2]

If one kills an insect (mosquito, lice or …) which has sat on one’s body, and blood which it has sucked comes out, it will be considered Pak, as it was destined to be its part.

If the time gap between its sucking and it being killed is very small that people saying it is the blood of human being or there is doubt about whether it is its blood or blood of human bineg it would be considered as Najis, according to maraja.[3] But, Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: Even if the time gap between its sucking and it being killed be very small it was destined to be its part and then considered as Pak, however, as a recommended precaution, one should avoid such blood.[4]

In Tahrir al-Waliah Imam Khomeini (ra) says: Transfer is a cause of cleanness of an unclean substance when transferred and added to another thing and is considered a part of it, as the blood of blood spurting animal is transferred to an animal not having a spurting blood, (when the blood of a human being is transferred into a mosquito).

The same rule shall apply if what is transferred is something other than blood and the object to which it is transferred is other than an animal, like a plant, etc.

If it is known that there has been no addition of the transferred thing being added, or there is doubt about it as it has not taken place in the stomach of the animal (whom it has been transferred), for example, in a way that it could be attributed to that animal, in such case the blood sucked by a leech shall continue to be unclean.[5]

[1] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, Rules conderning Mutahhirat; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Mutahhirat » Introduction, issue 149.

[2] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Mutahhirat » Transfer (Intiqal), issue: 210.

[3] . Tawzih al-Masael of Maraja (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 126, Issue: 206.

[4] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules concerning Mutahhirat » Transfer (Intiqal), issue: 211.

[5] . Tahrir al-Wailah of Imam Khomeini (ra), Vol. 1, chapter concerning things that clean other things (Mutahhirat).

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Haram Meat / The impermissibility of eating rabbit meat

Question 418: Why is the eating on animals with canine teeth such as rabbit haram in Shia Fiqh? I found the ruling just not the explanation. What are the Haram Meats?

Answer 418: In general, haram meat creatures are divided into several categories:

  1. Sea Creatures: Fish that have scales are the only type of halal sea creatures. Other sea creatures and fish are haram.[1]
  2. Land creatures are divided into two categories, wild and domestic:

Domestic Land Creatures:

Among all domestic land creatures; sheep, cow and camel are halal, but eating horse and donkey meat is makruh and the makruhness of horsemeat is less than other makruh meat. The rest of domestic land creatures such as dogs, cats, etc. are haram.

Wild Land Creatures:

Deer, cow and mountain goat and wild donkey are all halal and eating the meat of wild predatory animals that are predatory in essence, have strong and sharp nails, claws and fangs such as, lions, leopards, cheetahs, wolves, or animals with less sharper fangs such as, foxes and hyenas as well as rabbits, even though they are not part of the predatory category, are considered haram. Also insects and reptiles, such as snakes, mice, lizards, hedgehogs, fleas, lice, etc.; the examples for which are uncountable, are all haram. Animals who have undergone maskh (metamorphosis) such as, elephants, monkeys, bears, etc.[2] are haram as well and the reason why is a tradition narrated from the Prophet (A.S.).[3]

  1. Birds: Halal meat birds have two indications, making anything else other than that haram:
  2. Birds that flap their wings more than they glide while flying are halal; but birds that glide and spread their wings more while flying in the air instead of flapping their wings are haram.
  3. Birds with a corp, gizzards and spurs at the back of their feet are halal. (Note: Birds with sharp claws such as eagles, hawks, falcons, etc. are haram.)[4]
  4. Insects: All insects are haram.[5] (Note: If a locust is caught by hand or any other means, it is halal after dying.)[6]

Eating halal meat creatures is sometimes haram:

  1. If a creature has fed on a najis substance: An animal that has fed on human feces.[7] However, eating najis substances other than human feces does not make it haram.[8] An animal is considered haram for feeding on human feces when the sole thing it has fed on has been human feces and nothing else.[9] (Note: An animal that feeds on a najis substance will be pure and halal to eat once it undergoes istibra’.)[10]
  2. Being the object of intercourse by a human.[11] In a tradition Imam Ali (A.S.) says: “Eating the meat of an animal that has been penetrated by a person is haram.”[12]
  3. An animal that suckles the milk of a female pig to such an extent that its flesh and bones grow from it and gain strength is haram.[13]

The impermissibility of eating rabbit meat

All divine rules are legislated because of the wisdom and important reasons that back them; some of those reasons being mentioned in hadiths while others being left to be comprehended and discovered by man himself.  Of course, there are some cases that the mind has no way in, just like there are also cases that can’t be figured out today because man still hasn’t reached the necessary level of knowledge to do so, while there are chances that in the future he will be able to do so.  Therefore we can conclude that the reasons to many rulings still aren’t clear to us, yet since we know that the entity legislating these rulings is all-wise, we are to abide by all of them.

As you know, the highest form of worship is to obey Allah (swt) because He is the lord, even if the reasons behind a specific ruling might not be clear to us.  This is where our servitude to Him becomes completely manifest, because even those who don’t believe in Allah (swt) will certainly act according to rulings if they are aware of its reasons and how it is completely to their benefit, so acting according to rulings that one knows the reasons for isn’t a big deal, what is important is to act according to all of Allah’s (swt) rulings, regardless of the reasons behind them, or else one can dare say that there is no difference between the believer who observes rulings because of the reasons behind them and the disbelievers who do the same.

Rabbit meat is haram because of the hadiths that have reached us from the imams (as).  In these hadiths it has been stated that eating rabbit meat is forbidden, and this is the reason why Islamic scholars have issued fatwas on its impermissibility.  Three things can be concluded from these hadiths:

1- The rabbit is one of the animals that have undergone metamorphosis and that is why their meat is haram.  The holy prophet of Islam (pbuh) has said: “The monkey, pig, dog, elephant, wolf, mouse, rabbit…are all animals that have undergone metamorphosis and eating them isn’t permissible.”[14]

There are other hadiths from the imams with the same theme.  It has been said by one of the great Shia scholars, the “Shahid Thani”(the Second Martyr): “What is meant by these hadith is that the people who underwent metamorphosis and transformed, took the shape of these animals, [not that all of these animals today are actually people who have transformed into them], because people who undergo metamorphosis [as a punishment by Allah (swt)] last no longer than three days, dying afterwards.”[15]

The fact that the abovementioned were transformed into these animals, could be a signification that these animals have an inner impurity, or else what other reason could there be for choosing these animals?  There are great chances that the reason for the meat of these animals being haram is their physical and/or spiritual impurities.

2- In other hadiths, it has been said that rabbit meat is haram because as with cats, rabbits have claws, and the meat of animals of prey [animals with claws] is haram.[16]

3- In another hadith, Imam Ridha (as) says: “Since the rabbit has blood similar to that of women [which is discharged during menstruation], its meat is haram.”[17]

In any case, the complete reasoning behind every ruling isn’t clear to us, and what has been mentioned in hadiths are only some of the reasons that might contribute to a ruling, yet since we know that Allah (swt) is the All-Wise and All-Knowing, we are sure that anything He orders us to do is to our benefit, and anything He prohibits us from doing is truly to our disadvantage and we must refrain from it.

[1] Imam Khomeini, Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 137, book of foods and drinks, issue 2; al-Mukhtasar al-Nafi’, pg. 251; Sharayi’ al-Islam, pg. 169.

[2] Ibid.

[3] Jawahir al-Kalām , vol. 36, 294.

[4] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 594, the rulings on foods and drinks; Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 139, issue 8.

[5] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 603.

[6] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 593, issue 2622.

[7] Tahrir al-Wasilah, vol. 2, pg. 140, issue 15.

[8] Jawahir al-Kalām , vol. 36, pg. 271.

[9] Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 24, chapter 24 of the chapters on haram foods and drinks, hadith 2, pg. 160.

[10] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 568, issue 2583.

[11] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 601, issue 2632.

[12] Wasa’il al-Shiah, vol. 24, pg. 170, hadith 3.

[13] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 2, pg. 69, issue 86.

[14] Sheikh Saduq, Man La Yahdhuruhul-Faqih, vol.3, pg.336.

[15] Shahid Thani, Al-Rawthatul-Bahiyyah, vol.5, pg.24.

[16] Sheikh Hurr Ameli, Wasailul-Shia, vol.24, pg.109.

[17] Ibid.

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Istibra: liquid which comes out of body after Istibra is treated as pure

Question142: Sometimes while traveling a liquid comes out of my body, in which I am not able to recognize. What should I treat the liquid as?

Answer 142: If you performed Istibra after each urination, the liquid which comes out of your body afterward, is treated as pure.
Istibra is a recommended act for men after urinating. Its objective is to ensure that no urine is left in the urethra. There are certain ways of performing Istibra. The best way is after the passing of urine, if the anus also becomes najis, it is made clean first. Thereafter, the part between the anus and the root of penis should be pressed thrice, with the middle finger of the left hand. Then the thumb is placed on the penis, and the forefinger below it, pressing three times up to the point of circumcision, then the front part of the penis should be jerked three times

It is also considered as pure if you are doubtful whether or not it is urine, semen or other najas things.

Otherwise, if you didn’t perform Istibra or you are sure it is a kind of najas thing (such as semen or urine and etc.) it is regarded as impure.[1]

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha).

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Using products with animal ingredients if they are ritually impure

Question 104: I have a question regarding lotions and other beauty products with animal ingredients. I know that if these products have haram ingredients, they are impermissible to use, however, what if we do not know? I emailed some of the companies from which I bought products and several of them said that they use plant ingredients whenever possible. This suggests that they may use animal ingredients at times. Because we are uncertain, are these products permissible to use? JazakAllah Khair

Answer 104: A well-known religious law says: “Everything is ritually pure for you unless you come to know that it is ritually impure.” This law declares everything to be pure unless one becomes sure a particular item has become impure. And as long as you are not sure that it has become ritually impure (najis), it is to be considered pure and you can apply all the rules of purity to it without any hesitation or doubt.[1]

Therefore, as you are not sure that such products have been extracted from those animals that are ceremonially unclean or those halal animals that have not been slaughtered canonically (Islamically) nor a lot of changes made on them to be considered as Istihala (chemical transformation)[2], they would be treated as halal. There is no need to be examined from which types of animal they have been extracted.[3]

Note: If a chemical change occurs in the original ingredients during the process of manufacturing such products, it is clean and there is no problem at all in using it, even if the original ingredient may have been pork or meat of an animal which has not been slaughtered according to Islamic laws.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A about Najasat.

[2] . If a najis thing undergoes such a change, that it assumes the category of a Pak thing it becomes Pak; for example, if a najis wood burns and is reduced to ashes, or a dog falls in a salt-marsh and transforms into salt, it becomes Pak. But a thing do es not become Pak if its essence or category does not change; like, if wheat is ground into flour, or is used for baking bread, it does not become Pak; The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Mutahhirat, Transformation (Istihala).

[3] . A similar question was sent to the office of grand Ayatollahs: Khamenei, Sistani, Makarem Shirazi, Noori Hamadani, Safi Golpayegani (may Allah grant them long life).