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Cut ties with family who constantly commit sins

Question 138: I am a Muslim who has a relative that is an admitted alcoholic. According to Ayatollah Sistani what are the laws about keeping a relationship with this relative in this state? Is it permissible to tell others that he is a medically documented alcoholic? What are my rights to him as he falls under the category of a sibling to one of my parents?

Answer 138: It is obligatory to temporarily cut ties with family who constantly commit sins and that pay no attention to what Allah (SWT), the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and the Infallible Imams (pbuth) have said. If discarding this relationship can possibly cause him to avoid committing sins. This is a type of al-amr bi-l-maʿrūf (bid what is right) wa-n-nahy ʿani-l-munkar (forbid what is bad). Otherwise, you are not allowed to do so.[1]

There is a hadith of Imam Zain al-A’bedeen (a.s) as He recommended His son Imam Baqir (as) to avoid establishing communication with those who commit sins and Islamic laws don’t make sense to them.[2]

However, he committed such sin, but try all your best to help him find the right path and leave drinking alcohol, if you can. Also, try not to abandon him and leave him in this situation where he stymied.

It is recommended to restrict your relationship with him in a way that you just say Salam to him and let him know why you make such decision.

Imam Baqir and Imam Sadiq (pbuth) said, “Maintaining good relations with the relatives (Arham) purifies the deeds, increases the wealth, prevents calamities, makes the accounting easy (on the Day of Judgment) and delays death.[3]

For further information, please read the following answer:

Index: Estrangement from people or being with them, answer 060.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masaiel of Maraja’, Vol. 2, Pg. 772, question 1058; Ibid, Vol. 1, Pg. 76.

[2] . Al-Kafi, Muhammad ibn Ya’qubal-Kulayni, Vol. 2, Pg. 376, H 7.

[3] . Usul al-Kāfī, vol. 2, pg.150 & 151.

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Rules on adultery and its punishment

Question 238: Assalam aleikum wa rahmatu Allah wa barakatuhu. I would like to ask a question concerning rape. I live in Finland and now there have been lots of reports of rapes happening. In all the cases the rapist is an asylum seeker. Latest rape happened in Sweden where a swedish woman was raped and after she was raped she walked for 100 meters and was raped again by another asylum seeker. This made me think, what is the punishment of rape according to ahlulbayt (as)? May Allah bless you all.

Answer 238: Adultery is a great sin according to the Quran. God, the Exalted, says: “Nor come nigh to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).”[1] In this short verse, three important points have been mentioned:
A) The verse says “do not get near adultery” which not only incorporates an emphasis but it also connotes that the evil of adultery normally has certain preliminaries which drives a man to adultery gradually. An unlawful gaze, nudity, immodesty, reading sex stories, watching porn movies, bad company, privacy with a non-mahram (a man’s being together with a woman in a private place) and finally not taking action for marriage and unreasonable restrictions imposed by both sides in this regard serve as preliminaries leading a person to adultery. The aforementioned short verse forbids all of the above in an implicit manner. However, the Islamic traditions forbid each one of them separately.

  1. B) The sentence “إِنَّهُ كانَ فاحِشَةً” [verily, it is a shameful (deed) and an evil] consists of three emphasis (The term ‘verily’ plus the past tense of the verb ‘kana’ and the term evil) makes further tangible the greatness of this tangible sin.
  2. C) The sentence “ساءَ سَبِيلًا” [it is a bad way] indicates that this evil act opens the road to other evils in society.”[2]

In any event, both zina (which is intercourse taking place between a man and woman who aren’t married (permanently or via mut’ah) and the other acts that lead to it and are usually done before it are great sins, and the practical difference between the two is that in the former (zina), the Islamic governor or judiciary can carry out the hadd on the fornicating individual (which is a punishment specified in the Quran)[3].

On the other hand, if the man and woman haven’t committed zina and what they have done are other unchaste acts between each other, they have still sinned and the judiciary can punish them; the punishment’s harshness depending on the greatness of what they have done (this type of punishment is called ta’zir).

Note: If a man has raped a woman he would be executed, according to Islam.[4] If the woman has no choice but to kill him there would be no problem to do so. Considering the man’s blood is wasted, if she kills him there is no need to pay his blood money.[5]

Related Link: Facebook.

[1] . Isra (Night Journey), 32, وَ لا تَقْرَبُوا الزِّنى إِنَّهُ كانَ فاحِشَةً وَ ساءَ سَبِيلًا As for the prohibition of adultery/fornication, see: Al-Furqan, 68 and 69; Al-A’raf, 33; Al-An’am, 151; Kulayni, Ya’qub, translated by Mustafavi, Sayyid Jawad, Usul-e Kafi, vol.3, pg. 391, Wafa Publications, 1382 (2003); Najafi, Muhammad Hassan, Hurr Amili, Wasail al-Shi’ah, vol.28, Kitab al-Hodud, Jawaher al-Kalam, vol.41, pg. 260 and 258, Dar Ihya al-Turath al-Arabi, Lebanon, 1981.

[2] . Tafsir Namuneh, vol.12, pg. 103.

[3] . Nur:2 “الزَّانِيَةُ وَ الزَّاني فَاجْلِدُوا كُلَّ واحِدٍ مِنْهُما مِائَةَ جَلْدَةٍ وَ لا تَأْخُذْكُمْ بِهِما رَأْفَةٌ في دينِ اللَّهِ إِنْ كُنْتُمْ تُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ وَ الْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ وَ لْيَشْهَدْ عَذابَهُما طائِفَةٌ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنينَ” (As for the fornicatress and the fornicator, strike each of them a hundred lashes, and let not pity for them overcome you in Allah’s law, if you believe in Allah and the Last Day, and let their punishment be witnessed by a group of the faithful).

[4] . Imam Khomeini, Tahrirul Wasilah, Vol. 2, Pg. 439, Hadd al-Zina, al-Ikrah ala al-Zina; Khuei, Sayyid Abul Qasim, Mabani Takmelah al-Minhaj, Pg. 194, question 153. There is no difference between Mohsen (married man) and other than that.

[5] . Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Istiftaat (legal advice) Jadid (new), Vol. 3, questions 899 and 900, the school of Imam Ali bin Abi Talibs (as) publication, Qom, second edition, 1427 A.H.

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Wife’s Illegal Relationship / Ways to understating each other

Question 054: What is the rule of a wife’s illegal relationship with non-Mahram? My wife had an illegal relationship and I caught her red-handed. I asked her about their relationship but she didn’t acknowledge any relationship. I explained to both of them what they were doing. She promised me that henceforth she would never talk to or have any relationship with him at all. She however, talked to another guy and the same thing happened. Why is she doing this? What is wrong with her?

Answer 054: There would be no problem to interact with others in ways that are necessary for communication in daily life if there is no such a fear that we might fall into a sin. Unnecessary and unconventional behavior such as, amorous conversations and physical relationships between non-Mahram man and woman is not allowed.[1]

This unlawful behavior could be the consequence of several root causes, some of which will be explored below. Some recommendations will also be given that will enable you to intervene and prevent her from continuing to commit such sins.

Abnormal behaviors in your wife could be the result of several factors caused by you, that are likely to include emotional distress, verbal abuse, or even sexual deficiencies that have arisen during the course of the marriage.

Women need validation, appreciation and positive attention from their husband in order to maintain healthy behaviors. Also, any unconventional matters in your conjugal life may have discouraged her to get married to you, but she may have consented to marry you because of a particular factor and condition. The last and most important reason could be ignorance of the negative and harmful consequences of her sin and her weakness in her faith in Allah (swt).

The recommended action would be to have a sit down with your wife and inquire in an intimate and friendly manner about these behaviors.

If it is your behaviors and actions which caused her to establish such communications with others, try to correct your behaviors and actions. If there are other factors which could have caused these behaviors in her, try to establish what these factors are and together work to find the best solution for each problem. In any case, make her aware of the negative and harmful consequences of such sins and remind her of the Day of Judgment. In this regards, Allah (swt) says: “O you who believe! turn to Allah a sincere turning; maybe your Lord will remove from you your evil and cause you to enter gardens beneath which rivers flow, on the day on which Allah will not abase the Prophet and those who believe with him”” Their light shall run on before them and on their right hands; they shall say: Our Lord! make perfect for us our light, and grant us protection” Surely Thou hast power over all things”[2]

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

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

Index: Disclose Unlawful Relations to a Potential Wife!, answer 053.

Index: Essential Requirements of a Successful Marriage in Islam, answer 515.

[1] . For further information, please visit: The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Male and Female Relations.

[2] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 8.

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Disclose Unlawful Relations to a Potential Wife!

Question 053: Should a man disclose unlawful relations to whom he wants to get married? Is he allowed to lie in order to get rid of evil if she asks about his past relations?

Answer 053: Islam, however introduce the trustfulness and honesty as the biggest capital in a couple’s life and says that where there is honesty in a family, there is no ground for any misunderstanding and misconception and if a husband and wife want to betray or deceive each other and tell each other lies, then there is no way they can trust each other, but one mustn’t disclose his sins (small or big) to anyone. He must keep his secrets (regarding his sins) to himself. From Islam’s perspective the self-respect a person has for himself is so significant that he can only confess his sins before Allah in the sense of asking for forgiveness.

Not only will he not lose his respect but by confessing before Allah he will gain more. This is something solely restricted to Allah , for no other person even if he were to be a trustworthy person, is capable of returning one’s respect (that has been lost when he confesses to that person), let alone increasing it.

On top of that, based on the tawhidi (monotheistic) viewpoint in Islam the sole cause for everything in this world is Allah [1] and no one can do anything without his permission especially granting forgiveness and pardon which has not been assigned to any individual or character in Islam other than Allah (swt) himself.

In this regards, Imam Javad (as) says: If you come to know about the secrets of each other no one of you would bury one another. This means that after knowing your friends’ secrets you would fed up with them in a way that never bury their bodies.[1]

In order to avoid discrediting others and spreading prostitution no one is allowed to disclose his/her unlawful relations with others, according to Islam. One must only confess his/her mistakes and sins before Allah (SWT) and truly ask for His forgiveness, then Allah (SWT) will forgive him/her. In the holy Quran Allah (SWT) says: “Say: O My servants! who have acted extravagantly against their own souls, do not despair of the mercy of Allah Surely Allah forgives the faults altogether Surely He is the Forgiving, the Merciful”.[2]

Note: 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?”[3]

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

  1. To repent over the past.
  2. To make a firm determination never to revert to it.
  3. To discharge all the rights of the people so that you may meet Allah quite clean with nothing to account for.
  4. To fulfill every obligatory act which you ignored (in the past) so that you may now do justice with it.
  5. 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.[4]
  6. 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’.[5]

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

Index:  Premarital relation with non-Mahram is impermissible, answer 082.

[1] لا مؤثر فی الوجود الا الله

[1] . Sheikh Sadouq, Muhammad bin Ali, Amali, Pg. 446, Aalami Publication, Beirut, 1400 A.H.

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

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

[4] . Adopted from answer 139 (Index: How to Repent from Sins (high on drug) committed in the month of Ramadan).

[5] . “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).

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Ask Islam: The Punishment of committing suicide

Question 331: What do the hadiths of the Ahlulbayt (a.s) say about ‘Suicide’? What if one who kills himself doesn’t abandon the belief in all encompassing ‘Rahmah’ of الله? What’s the Punishment of committing suicide?

Answer 331: After creating man, Allah has declared some acts forbidden and mentioned that if such acts are committed, Hell will be the destiny of the sinners.

We know that some sins are like spoiled food whose long term consumption is a threat to one’s health, but others are like devastating explosions which destroy and demolish one’s spiritual life in an instant.

At the same time due to Allah’s great mercy there are many paths, which by taking them, people have the opportunity to nullify some of their heavy and severe punishments or at least reduce them to some extent.

Making up for unjust damages, asking forgiveness from those affected from the damages of certain sins, and finally, repenting to Allah are the steps of compensating for a sin.

Obviously these compensating steps and specifically repenting should be done before one’s death and while he is still alive and consequently, a repentance that is delayed to the final moments prior to death or after death will have no effect.[1]

In the light of what was explained we will return to the sin of suicide that was mentioned in your question.
In a hadith by Imam Baqir, he says: “A Mu’min (believer) may suffer from catastrophes of all kinds or die by various incidents, but he will never commit suicide.”[2]

In this regard Imam Sadiq says: “Whoever commits suicide deliberately will remain in Hell forever.”[3]

In some ways it is correct to say that committing suicide is a sin that automatically entails one to be taken to Hell, but why?

1- As we mentioned above there is an opportunity to nullify or reduce the punishment of sins through repenting to Allah and the repentance should be done before one’s death, but committing suicide is a sin that denies one the opportunity to repent. In other words, by committing this sin one has declined his last chance to nullify or reduce his punishment, thus, naturally entering Hell.

2- Life is a precious gift that Allah has granted to man. This gift is actually an opportunity with the help of which one can achieve the greatest levels of perfection. The person who commits suicide is virtually blowing his precious opportunity and being punished in Hell will be the direct consequence of declining this opportunity. The same way if someone all of a sudden throws himself into fire; his body will burn as the direct result of his inappropriate action.

Also, the same way committing suicide is an unforgivable sin, taking away others’ opportunity to live will entail an inevitable punishment.

Regarding this issue Imam Sadiq says: “A Mu’min (believer) will have the chance to make up for his behavior and conduct, unless he takes part in killing another believer unrightfully, and one who kills a Mu’min, (even though it seems that he has the chance to repent but certain events will take place that he) will not actually repent.”[4]

Despite the fact that some sins do not completely take away the chance to repent, but they reduce the possibility of repentance. Let’s examine the following hadith:

Imam Sadiq (as) was asked about an individual that consumes alcoholic beverages and what his (spiritual) situation would be like? The Imam responded: “His Salat (prayer) and also his repenting will not be accepted for 40 days and if he passes away in this period of time he will enter Hell.”[5]

The Imam (as) has also said: “Whosoever purposely commits suicide, will remain in the hellfire forever.”[6]

In closing, one can conclude that some sins do cause people to enter Hell automatically, but this should not be understood in a way that leads to belief in Jabr (Force and predetermination) and one should not take the responsibility of the sinner in regard to his sins lightly. In fact, this automatic entering is the direct result of the sinner’s actions, the same way the automatic demolishment of a person’s body who throws himself from a height does not contradict his responsibility for his act. However, according to the viewpoint which suggests the manifestation of actions or the unity of action and reward/punishment, Hell and Heaven are the manifestations of our own actions, meaning that it is the person who creates Heaven or Hell through his actions, not that he has done an act and according to an arrangement (with Allah) he will now be rewarded or punished by going to Heaven or Hell. From this point of view the term “automatically” will lose all meaning regarding sins.

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

Index:  Ask Islam: Ruling on committing suicide, answer 122.

Index: Offering prayer for the dead over one’s body who committed suicide, answer 597.

[1] . Nisa: 18.

[2] . Koleini, Muhammad ibn Ya’qub, vol. 3, pg. 112, hadith 8.

[3] . Ibid, vol. 7, pg. 45, hadith 1.

[4] . Ibid, vol. 7, pg. 272, hadith 7.

[5] . Sheikh Saduq, Thawabul-A’mal, pg. 244.

[6] . Man-La Yahduruhul-Faqih, vol. 4, pg. 95.

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Ask Islam: Ruling on committing suicide

Question 122: Is suicide a sin and can it be forgiven? What is the ruling on committing suicide?

Answer 122:  Some sins, due to their quality, leave no opportunity to repent and will lead their committers to the irreversible path of Hell, the same way falling from heights without employing a parachute or landing equipment will lead to the disintegration of the body or the same way falling into a deep sea without possessing the ability to swim will naturally lead to drowning and in both examples there is no way back. Of course we must realize that the term “automatically” is not precise in this regard, because we all know that such a punishment is the direct result of such a decision.

After creating man, Allah has declared some acts forbidden and mentioned that if such acts are committed, Hell will be the destiny of the sinners.

We know that some sins are like spoiled food whose long term consumption is a threat to one’s health, but others are like devastating explosions which destroy and demolish one’s spiritual life in an instant.

At the same time due to Allah’s great mercy there are many paths, which by taking them, people have the opportunity to nullify some of their heavy and severe punishments or at least reduce them to some extent.

Making up for unjust damages, asking forgiveness from those affected from the damages of certain sins, and finally, repenting to Allah are the steps of compensating for a sin.

Obviously these compensating steps and specifically repenting should be done before one’s death and while he is still alive and consequently, a repentance that is delayed to the final moments prior to death or after death will have no effect.[1]

In the light of what was explained we will return to the sin of suicide that was mentioned in your question.

In a hadith by Imam Baqir, he says: “A Mu’min (believer) may suffer from catastrophes of all kinds or die by various incidents, but he will never commit suicide.”[2]

In this regard Imam Sadiq says: “Whoever commits suicide deliberately will remain in Hell forever.”[3]

In some ways it is correct to say that committing suicide is a sin that automatically entails one to be taken to Hell, but why?

1- As we mentioned above there is an opportunity to nullify or reduce the punishment of sins through repenting to Allah and the repentance should be done before one’s death, but committing suicide is a sin that denies one the opportunity to repent. In other words, by committing this sin one has declined his last chance to nullify or reduce his punishment, thus, naturally entering Hell.

2- Life is a precious gift that Allah has granted to man. This gift is actually an opportunity with the help of which one can achieve the greatest levels of perfection. The person who commits suicide is virtually blowing his precious opportunity and being punished in Hell will be the direct consequence of declining this opportunity. The same way if someone all of a sudden throws himself into fire; his body will burn as the direct result of his inappropriate action.

Also, the same way committing suicide is an unforgivable sin, taking away others’ opportunity to live will entail an inevitable punishment.

Regarding this issue Imam Sadiq says: “A Mu’min (believer) will have the chance to make up for his behavior and conduct, unless he takes part in killing another believer unrightfully, and one who kills a Mu’min, (even though it seems that he has the chance to repent but certain events will take place that he) will not actually repent.”[4]

Despite the fact that some sins do not completely take away the chance to repent, but they reduce the possibility of repentance. Let’s examine the following hadith: Imam Sadiq was asked about an individual that consumes alcoholic beverages and what his (spiritual) situation would be like? The Imam responded: “His Salat (prayer) and also his repenting will not be accepted for 40 days and if he passes away in this period of time he will enter Hell.”[5]

In closing, one can conclude that some sins do cause people to enter Hell automatically, but this should not be understood in a way that leads to belief in Jabr (Force and predetermination) and one should not take the responsibility of the sinner in regard to his sins lightly.

In fact, this automatic entering is the direct result of the sinner’s actions, the same way the automatic demolishment of a person’s body who throws himself from a height does not contradict his responsibility for his act. However, according to the viewpoint which suggests the manifestation of actions or the unity of action and reward/punishment, Hell and Heaven are the manifestations of our own actions, meaning that it is the person who creates Heaven or Hell through his actions, not that he has done an act and according to an arrangement (with Allah) he will now be rewarded or punished by going to Heaven or Hell. From this point of view the term “automatically” will lose all meaning regarding sins.

[1] . Nisa:18.

[2] . Kuleini, Muhammad ibn Ya’qub, vol. 3, pg. 112, hadith 8.

[3] . Ibid, vol. 7, pg. 45, hadith 1.

[4] . Ibid, vol. 7, pg. 272, hadith 7.

[5] . Sheikh Saduq, Thawabul-A’mal, pg. 244.

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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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Pretending to cry over our Sins, for Imam Hussain (as) or Fear of Allah (SWT)

Question 048: What is the ruling of one who desires to cry for his sins, but is unable to do so, so he pretends to cry? Is pretending recommended? What procedures does one have to go through in order to be able to shed tears?

Answer 048: When you want to pray, supplicate or fear Allah, the Almighty you had better to cry or pretend[1] to cry. This act is a psychological example of an artificial effect on our soul.

According to a hadith, in order that your prayers be granted by Allah, the Most High you should cry or pretend to cry. Also, try to have at least one drop of tear coming out of your eyes, even by remembering a memory of one of your relatives who has passed away. In this regards, there is a hadith narrated from the holy Prophet (pbuh) that if one cries or pretends to cry while reciting the holy Quran or hearing it, he will certainly go to the Heaven. Furthermore, if you fear Allah (SWT), the punishment of Hell and desire to go to the Heaven you are supposed to cry or pretend to cry especially at the time of offering prayers, ta’qibat, supplications, dhikr, and during the practices of hajj, especially in Sa’y, stay in Arafa, and on top of Marwa Mount.[2]

The Holy Prophet of Islam (SAWS) has told Abū Dhar al-Ghifari, “One should cry if he can. If not, keeps grief inside of his heart and pretend to cry. If the one is unable to do so, he is far away from Allah (SWT), the Almighty.”[3]

In regards to crying over our sins and fear of Allah (SWT), Imam Sadiq (AS) has said, “If you cannot cry, pretend yourself to cry. If you try to shed tear, even it is equivalent to the size of an insect wing, then congratulations to you.[4]

In a Qudsi Hadith, Allah (SWT) says to Musa (as): O Musa, whoever cries or pretends to cry at the time of martyrdom of the Prophet’s (pbuh) son he will go to the Heaven.[5]

According to some hadiths, if one cries for Imam Hussain (as), make others cry for Him or pretends to cry, then he will certainly go to the Heaven.[6]

Ways for drawing Allah’s (SWT) affection and love: The first step in achieving such a matter is to purify the heart of the love of this world and all things attached to it in an effort to reach Allah (SWT). Such can never be accomplished unless one pushes the love of everything other than Allah (SWT) out of the heart; the reason being that man’s heart is like a container that doesn’t have the capacity of accepting anything unless it has been emptied of all other contents. At the same time, Allah (SWT) hasn’t given anyone two hearts (so that one can encompass all worldly desires and the other contains the love of Allah (SWT).[7] The prophet of Islam (SAWS) says,[8] “حب الدنیا و حب الله لا یجتمعان فی قلب واحد” (“The love of this life and world and the love of Allah (SWT) cannot gather in one heart together [at the same time]”). Clearly, if Allah (SWT) is loved by a person, Allah (SWT) will also love him.

Tawbah or repentance is another way of obtaining Allah’s (SWT) love, meaning to be sorry and regretful regarding ones sins and moving towards and taking refuge in Allah’s (SWT) endless grace and mercy, also draws Allah’s (SWT) affection. Repentance makes the servant of Allah (SWT) draw closer to Him, opening the doors of mercy to him. When one repents, he becomes Allah’s (SWT) friend and loved one.

The author of Tafsir Rahnama says, “One of the reasons why the love of Allah (SWT) towards the righteous and those who repent has been pointed to, is to encourage them to repent and be righteous.[9]

Crying for Allah (SWT), the Almighty is now pleasant, as in the Holy Qur’an, He says, “God loves those who repent and those who purify themselves.”[10]

We will explain to you briefly some of the ways to obtain Allahs (SWT) love, so that you will be able to obtain Allah’s (SWT) love and purify your heart:

Patience and steadfastness during hardship, bitter times, tragedies; Following and obeying the prophet (SAWS), jihad and fighting in the way of Allah (SWT); those who donate and give charity; Faith and good deeds; Generosity and kindness; Purity.

Also, when Allah (SWT) becomes affectionate towards someone, He falls in love with him, as a hadith by the prophet (pbuh) says[11], “اذا احب الله عبداً عشقه و عشق علیه، فیقول عبدی انت عاشقی و محبی و انا عاشق لک و محب لک، ان اردت او لم ترد”, meaning that when Allah (SWT) becomes affectionate of someone, He makes that person fall in love with Him, in addition to Allah (SWT) loving him, as well. Then Allah (SWT) goes on to say, “O servant of mine! You are in love with me, and I also love you, whether you like it or not!”

To sum it all up, there are various ways of reaching a point in which Allah (SWT) becomes affectionate towards one, which can all be summarized in doing what Allah (SWT) has obliged and refraining from what he has prohibited.

Therefore, you are supposed to, at first truly repent in the presence of Allah (SWT), the Almighty and do the above mentioned recommendations in order to obtain Allah’s (SWT) love. If you do so, your heart would be purified of the love of such mundane and worldly things and then crying over your sins is now heavenly pleasant in the presence of Allah (SWT), the Almighty. If you might not be able to cry, pretend as you are crying. [12]

Note: It is correct to say that one must fear Allah (SWT), love Him, and have hope in Him all at the same time. For loving Him and having hope in Him will bring about harmony on one hand, and on the other hand, will compel us to take action, struggle, and push forth in our endeavor to acquire the elements that will secure His satisfaction. Ultimately it will lead to being blessed by His effusions, graces, and bounties in this world and the hereafter. His fear will evoke humility and servility; it will strengthen the spirit of obedience and preclude us from committing sins that might otherwise incur Allah’s (SWT) wrath and chastisement.

Imam Ali Ibn Abu Talib (AS) defines these three groups in his legacy of wisdom as follows, “One group worships Allah (SWT) in hope of boons and benevolence – such is the worship of businessmen; another group worships him out of fear – such is the worship of slaves; and yet another group worships Allah out of gratitude – such is the worship of those who are free of themselves and of self-worship.”[13]

[1] . Pretend to cry means Tabaki: Making oneself cry or to crying with efforts is called Tabaki. Tabaki in the mourning for Imam Hussain (as) means that one has a facial expression of sadness and pretend to cry in order to be counted as a Mourner of the Imam (as) and enjoy the relevant divine rewards.

[2] . Ghafari Sarawi, A’een e Bandegi wa Niyayesh, Pg. 289; Majlesi, Miratul Uqul, Vol. 12, Pg. 57; Noori Tabarsi, Mustadrak al-Wasael, 1408 A.H, Vol. 5, Pg. 205; Moadab, I’jaz Quran dar Nazar Ahlul Bayt (as), Pg. 184; Mahmoodi, Tatib al-Amali, 1420 A.H, Pg. 369; Wasael a-Shia, Hurr Ameli, Vol. 6 , chapter Jawaz al-Qunut bi GHayr al-Arabiyyah, Pg. 289; Frhang Fiqh Farsi, Vol. 2, Pg. 326; Sadeqi Ardestani, Hajj as Miqat ta Mi’ad, Pg. 145.

[3] . Bihaul Anwar, Vol. 74, Pg. 79.

[4] . Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 484.

[5] . Noori, Hussain bin Muhammad Taqi, Mustardak al-Wasael wa Mustanbit al-Masael, Vol. 10, Pg. 319, Aalul Bayt (as), Qom, first edtion, 1408 A.H; Turayhi, Fakhr al-Din bin Muhammad, Majma al-Bahrayn, researcher and editor: Hussaini Eshkavari, Ahmad, Vol. 3, Pg. 406, Murtadhavi Publication, Tehran, third edition.

[6] . Makarem Shirazi, Ashura Risheha Angizeha Roydadha, Pg. 81.

[7] . Sayyid Abdullah Shubbar, Kitabul-Akhlaq (translation), 414

[8] . Mohammad Rey Shahri, Mizanul-Hikmah, vol. 2, pg. 228.

[9] . Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, Tafsir Rahnama, vol. 7, pg. 486.

[10] . Surah Bagharam verse 222.

[11] . Fatemeh Tabatabai, Sokhane Eshq, pg., pg. 34.

[12] . For further information in this regards, please refer to Shahrestani, Sayyid Muhammad Hussain, ‘Ashk Rawan bar Amir Karavan’ (translation of Al-Khasaesul hussainiyah), Pg. 80, Darul Hitab (Jazayei) Literature Institution, 2011; Farhang Aashura (the culture of Ashura), Pg. 104.

[13] . Nahj al-Balaghah, short saying #237: قَالَ ( ع): إِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللٌّهَ رَغْبَةً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ التُّجَّارِ، وَإِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللٌّهَ رَهْبَةً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الْعَبِيدِ، وَإِنَّ قَوْماً عَبَدُوا اللٌّهَ شُكْراً فَتِلْكَ عِبَادَةُ الأَحْرَارِ

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Chatting on the internet with non-Mahram

Question 350:  Salam, what is the limits when you want to talk or even chat with females? By the way, my jurisprudence is Sayed Sistani?

Answer 350: According to Ayatollah Sistani (ha), all kinds of relations with a non-Mahram including joking, expressing mutual love, talking with the intention of deriving pleasure, looking at the body of a girl (except her face and hands up to the wrists) and at her hair or looking at her face with pleasure are haram (forbidden). In fact, if it is feared that they might fall into a sin, it is forbidden for them to have any kinds of relationship with each other. His Excellency also replied a question similar to talking to ones fiancé on telephone as follows: If it is feared that you might fall into a sin, it is not permissible. Since she is not related to you through nikah as of now, you cannot express love or start joking and becoming intimate with her.

The Ayatollah says: If there is a fear that a girl or a boy may be drawn towards sin, it is not permissible to chat with girls on the internet. Normally chatting ends up in a sin for both sides. [1]

According to holy Islamic Laws, any form of interaction between a non-Mahram man and woman, whether it is direct or indirect, is impermissible if it accompanied with lust, or there is fear of sin taking place. Otherwise, if there is no such a fear that you might fall into a sin, there would be no problem.

A glance at the fatwas of the maraje’ on questions about this issue clears everything up:

Question 1: When a non-mahram man and woman are speaking with each other, is there a difference between the dialogue being from far away or in person?

Answer (all of the maraje’): There is no difference in ruling and in both cases, if there is lust involved or fear of sin taking place, it is impermissible.[2]

Question 2: What is the ruling on chatting with the opposite sex and speaking of normal things?

All of the maraje’: If there is fear of corruption and sin taking place, it is impermissible.[3]

Question 3: Is it permissible for non-mahram men and women to greet each other?

All of the maraje’: If it is without lust and there is no fear of sin taking place, it is permissible.[4]

Question 4: What is the ruling on kidding with non-mahrams?

All of the maraje’: If it is with lust or there is fear of sin taking place, it is impermissible.[5]

Question 5: Is having a warm relationship between a boy and girl while working or in gatherings problematic?

All of the maraje’: Friendship between boys and girls is impermissible, because there is a fear of sin taking place. As for their relationship at work, if it doesn’t lead to corruption and Islamic standards are observed, it is permissible.[6]

Question 6: What is the ruling on writing to non-mahrams and speaking of sensual things via email with them?

All of the maraje’: Speaking of things that lead to corruption and pave the way to corruption are problematic.[7]

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Question & Answer» Chat between Male & Female; Ibid, Male and Female Relations.

[2] Imam Khomeini, Istifta’at, vol. 3, question 52; Bahjat, Tawdih al-Masa’el, issue 1936; Makarem Shirazi, Istifta’at, vol. 1, question 819; Tabrizi, Istifta’at, issue 1622; Safi, Jame’ul-Ahkam, vol. 2, pg. 1673; Nouri, Istifta’at, vol. 2, pg. 656; Fazel, Jame’ul-Masa’el, vol. 1, question 1718; Khamenei, Ajwibah al-Istifta’at, question 1145; Al-Urwah al-Wuthqa, vol. 2, al-nikah, issue 3; Sistani, sistani.org (official website), questions 19 and 20; Wahid, office.

[3] Sistani, sistani.org (official website); Tabrizi, tabrizi.org (official website); the office of all of the maraje.

[4] Al-Urwah al-Wuthqa, vol. 2, al-nikah, issue 39 and 41.

[5] Ibid, issues 39 and 41; Fazel, Jame’ul-Masa’el, vol. 1, question 1720 and Khamenei, istifta’, question 782.

[6] Khamenei, istifta’, questions 651 and 779 and the offices of all the maraje’.

[7] Imam Khomeini, Istifta’at, vol. 3, miscellaneous questions, question 127; the offices of all the maraje’.

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Satans are chained during the Holy Month of Ramadan

Question 061: Is the saying authentic that, “Satans are chained during the Holy Month of Ramadan”?

Answer 061: In some authentic traditional sources like Al-Kafi and Tahzib, there has been mentioned a tradition regarding the blessings of the Holy Month of Ramadan from the Holy Prophet (PBUH) as follows, “When the Holy month of Ramadan enters, the outcast Satans are chained.” This tradition has been narrated by Imam Baqir (AS) by his grandfather. The Arabic version of the hadith is as follows:[1]
«أَحْمَدُ بْنُ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ سَعِيدٍ عَنِ الْحُسَيْنِ بْنِ عُلْوَانَ عَنْ عَمْرِو بْن شِمْرٍ عَنْ جَابِرٍ عَنْ أَبِي جَعْفَرٍ (ع) قَالَ كَانَ رَسُولُ اللَّهِ ص يُقْبِلُ بِوَجْهِهِ إِلَى النَّاسِ فَيَقُولُ يَا مَعْشَرَ النَّاسِ إِذَا طَلَعَ هِلَالُ شَهْرِ رَمَضَانَ غُلَّتْ مَرَدَةُ الشَّيَاطِينِ وَ فُتِحَتْ أَبْوَابُ السَّمَاءِ وَ أَبْوَابُ الْجِنَانِ وَ أَبْوَابُ الرَّحْمَةِ وَ غُلِّقَتْ أَبْوَابُ النَّارِ وَ اسْتُجِيبَ الدُّعَاءُ وَ كَانَ لِلَّهِ فِيهِ عِنْدَ كُلِّ فِطْرٍ عُتَقَاءُ يُعْتِقُهُمُ اللَّهُ مِنَ النَّارِ وَ يُنَادِي مُنَادٍ كُلَّ لَيْلَةٍ هَلْ مِنْ سَائِلٍ هَلْ مِنْ مُسْتَغْفِرٍ اللَّهُمَّ أَعْطِ كُلَّ مُنْفِقٍ خَلَفاً وَ أَعْطِ كُلَّ مُمْسِكٍ تَلَفاً…»

When the Holy Prophet (PBUH) sighted the moon, he stood in the direction of the Qiblah and said:
“«اللهم اهله علينا بالامن و الايمان و السلامة و الاسلام و العافية المجللة و الرزق الواسع و دفع الاسقام و تلاوة القرآن و العون على الصلاة و الصيام اللهم سلمنا لشهر رمضان و سلمه لنا و تسلمه منا حتى ينقضى شهر رمضان و قد غفرت لنا”

“O Allah, let this moon (month) pass over us with blessings, Iman (faith), safety, obedience, complete health, abundant sustenance, removing illnesses, reciting the Holy Qur’an, offering prayers and fasting. O Allah, keep us healthy for the Holy Month of Ramadan and keep it healthy for us as well, accept our fasting and forgive our sins when the month is finished.”

The Prophet (PUBH) faced toward the people and said, “O Muslims! When the Holy Month of Ramadan enters, the accursed Satans are chained, the doors of heaven, sky and blessings are opened and the doors of the hell are closed. Every wish will come true and Allah, save those people who fast from hell at the time of Iftar (breaking a fast), and a harbinger call every night: Is there any volunteer? Is there anyone who wants to be forgiven? O Allah! Grant each donator reward, but each miser corruption.”

Therefore, one of the blessings of the Holy Month of Ramadan is that the Satans who always try to mislead us, are chained in this month.

It doesn’t mean that he is unable to mislead us at all. Perhaps, the reason behind the saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) is that the Satans ability of misleading us, is just limited during the Holy Month of Ramadan not they can never do any evil things, instead. It is likely that one who is in jail, but able to establish his communication through different ways, even by pointing others. The Satans are trying to mislead us go astray by every ability they have such as Beautification of ugly deeds, False promises, Fear and etc. Therefore, they never neglected in carrying out their duties of misleading us go astray, even if they are chained during the Holy Month of Ramadan.

It should be noted that it doesn’t mean that satan is completely responsible for our sins. There are so many sins human beings commit by themselves. As we know, the satan doesn’t force human beings to obey him. In the Holy Qur’an, the satan has said, “I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me.”[2] The human can accept and obey the Holy Prophets’ (PBUTH) invitations.

Therefore, the saying of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) doesn’t mean we never commit any sin by thinking the satan is chained in the Holy Month of Ramadan! Thus, if we commit sin, can you answer this question that “what is that mean by Satans are chained in the Holy Month of Ramadan”?

[1] . Kulayni, Kafi, Vol. 4, Pg. 67, Dar al-Kutob al-Islamiyah, Tehran 1986.

[2] . “When the matter is all over, Satan will say,” Indeed Allah made you a promise that was true and I [too] made you a promise, but I failed you. I had no authority over you, except that I called you and you responded to me. So do not blame me, but blame yourselves. I cannot respond to your distress calls, neither can you respond to my distress calls. Indeed I disavow your taking me for] Allah’s [partner aforetime. There is indeed a painful punishment for the wrongdoers.”” Surah Ibrahim, verse 22.

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How to make up for missed prayers

Question 009: I am 15 years old and when I was younger I recall missing two isha prayers deliberately as I wasn’t bothered about praying all five prayers. I also missed prayers (all fajr prayers apart from Shahr al Ramadan). How do I make these up and is it permissible for me to make them up? I follow the Shafi method. JazakAllah Khair

Answer 009: Imam Baqir (as) says: Prayer is one of the Pillar of Islam.[1] One who is abandoning his prayer deliberately and without any reason is considered as an unbeliever who defies Allah, according to Imam Sadiq (as).[2]

Prayer cannot be skipped under any circumstances and it is one of the rights of Allah (SWT). If one doesn’t pray he/she has committed a capital sin. Regarding Haqqullah repentance would be to make up for the past and saying Istiqfar. If one repents to Allah (SWT) with sincere repentance! Maybe his Lord will absolve him of his misdeeds.[3]

In the Holy Quran Allah, the Almighty 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]

The Arabic version of this verse of the holy Quran:

قُلْ يا عِبادِيَ الَّذينَ أَسْرَفُوا عَلى‏ أَنْفُسِهِمْ لا تَقْنَطُوا مِنْ رَحْمَةِ اللَّهِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ يَغْفِرُ الذُّنُوبَ جَميعاً إِنَّهُ هُوَ الْغَفُورُ الرَّحيم‏

In view of the fact that you did not say Subh prayer for a year and the two Isha prayers, it becomes compulsory on you to perform Subh qada’ for a year and the two Isha prayers.

It is not incumbent on you to immediately make up for the prayers you missed out, as delaying compensatory prayer can be tolerated, provided it is not done out of indifference.[5]

Considering the above mentioned issues, from now on try to offer your prayers on time and then make up for the prayers you missed, gradually. So, if you repent from that sin and make all your missed prayers up as soon as you can, then Allah (swt) will forgive you. Insha’Allah.

[1] . Barqi, Ahmad bin Muhammad bin Khalid, al-Mahasin, Vol. 1, Pg. 44, Qom, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1371 A.H.

[2] Sheikh Kuleini, Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 279, Tehran, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah, 1407 A.H.

[3] . Surah al-Tahrim, verse 8.

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

[5] . For further information, please refer to the official Website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Dialogue on prayer.

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Masoom / True Meaning of Infallibility

Question 007: What does Masoom mean? Im a new Shia and trying to get used to the different terms used in the shia traditions as compared to sunni traditions. Need to know the True Meaning of Infallibility?

Answer 007: Allamah Tabatabai states: “Infallibility” means the presence of a quality in the infallible person that protects him or her from doing what is not permissible (e.g. sin or error)”.[1] It should be noted that from his viewpoint God’s prophets (and all of the imams and specially guided people) possess the absolute infallibility which covers many instances.[2] According to him, “infallibility” is the result of the infallible person’s knowledge of the consequences of the sin, that is to say that the infallible person’s knowledge and awareness of the sin’s consequences is such that he/she is never conquered and overwhelmed by the rest of the faculties he/she possesses, but has dominance over them.[3]

Concerning “Infallibility”, there is another theory that says: “As a result of the infallible’s high levels of knowledge towards God almighty and owing to their affection for God’s beauty and perfection, they do not allow themselves to take even a step against His will, and their love and affection for the Deity and the perception of His beauty and glory and their awareness of His endless blessings upon them, brings to their soul such humility and modesty that never allows them to even think of sin let alone committing it”.[4]

These two theories both admit that a certain quality develops in the infallible person which constantly drives away disobedience, insubordination and wrongdoing and protects against sin and mistake.

There are two kinds of infallibility; infallibility in knowledge and practical infallibility.  The infallibility that the prophets possess comprises both. In other words, both their actions are righteous and according with the truth, and their knowledge is in accordance with reality, originating from a source that accepts no mistake, fault or forgetfulness.

That is because one who is infallible has reached a certain level of incorporeal intellect, pure intuition, true vision and spiritual unveiling (In other words, the infallible individual not only knows the truth, he/she sees and witnesses it).  In this stage, all mental and spiritual faculties such as one’s imagination and conjectural faculty follow the mind, and satanic temptations here are helpless.  The reason behind such a matter is that ignorance, satanic temptations, false illusions and the like, are all a result of one’s imaginative or illusive faculty in which both are connected to the materialistic world, but such isn’t the case with the mind and intellect.  In the realm of the mind and intellect, Satan is helpless.

Therefore, if one is able to surpass the stages of this materialistic world and somehow overcome the abovementioned faculties and reach the origin of all truths and realities, he/she will have become infallible and as a result of his/her strengthened existence, will be equal to the angels or maybe even higher.[5]

Conclusion: The infallible individual is one who is free of any sin, mistake and forgetfulness throughout his/her life when it comes to comprehending, conveying, and carrying out divine revelation (wahy).

Of course, one should note that infallibility is divided into voluntary and involuntary infallibility.  The infallible individual is one who voluntarily doesn’t commit sin.  At the same time, in order for it to be absolutely and totally obligatory for us to follow their traditions (actions, sayings, and verifications) without any questioning, and to be able to completely depend on them, an infallibility is granted to them by Allah (s.w.t.) which has nothing to do with their own will and choice and is much higher than the infallibility that they have obtained by themselves.  Of course, they are granted it because they deserve it as a result of their voluntary efforts in Allah’s way[6].[7]

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

Index: The exact date on birth or Martyrdom of Lady Fatima and Infallibles, answer 254.

[1] S. Mohammad Husein Tabatabai, Al-Mizan fi Tafsir-al-Quran, v.2, pg.134 (The infallibility of the imams)

[2] Ibid, v.2, pg. 134-136, v.5, pg. 75-77, Javadi Amoli, Tafsir Mozoo’I Quran Karim, v.3, pg. 197-292.

[3] Ibid, v.5, pg. 78.

[4] Jafar Sobhani, Manshoor-e-Javid, v.5, pg.14.

[5] These points are from Ayatollah Javadi Amoli, Tafsir Mozoo’I Quran Karim, v.3, pg. 199-202.

[6] . Adopted from answer 1738 IQ.

[7] See: Seyyed Mohsen Kharrazi, Bidayat-ul-Ma’arif, pg. 254.