Offering congregational prayers behind a Sunni Imam

Question 237: Salam, wanna ask if I am praying behind a Sunni imam then do i need to recite all in my own words or its same like as behind a Shia imam, any other difference?

Answer 237: Congregational Prayers is one of the most important recommended acts, and it is one of the greatest Islamic rites. Great emphasis has been laid on it in the narrations. It is recommended that obligatory prayers, especially the daily prayers, are performed in congregation, and more emphasis has been laid on congregational prayers for Fajr, Maghrib and Isha, and also for those who live in the neighborhood of a mosque, and are able to hear its Adhan.[1]

There is no problem in attending Sunni congregational prayers; it is permissible and there are some reports according to which one who stands in the first row of their congregational prayers is like one who has offered his prayers standing behind the Holy Prophet (S) in the first row.[2]

In any case, if possible, one should offer his prayers according to Shia way and if there is no need for Taqiyah (dissimulation) and one offers his prayers in Sunni way, he must repeat his prayers. Of course, there are some scholars who are of the view that if the conditions for practicing Taqiyah are not met, one must repeat his prayers under all circumstances.

Index: Some grand religious authorities have also replied to the same question. Their answers are as follows:[3]

Grand Ayatollah Khamenei (may Allah grant him long life): In the said case, if using turbah is not in opposition with practicing Taqiyah, it is necessary to do Sajda on something which is allowed for prostration.

Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (may Allah grant him long life): If you are associating with them, there is no problem in offering prayers with them to protect yourself provided that they do not express enmity against Shia. However, doing Sajda on carpet is not allowed except where one practices Taqiyah in Sunni mosques.

Grand Ayatollah Noori Hamedani (may Allah grant him long life): If possible, one should do Sajda on things which are allowable for Sajdah but there is no problem in offering prayers behind a Sunni prayer leader and one is not, in the said case, required to repeat his prayers.

Grand Ayatollah Safi Golpaygani (may Allah grant him long life): If you are not in the state of Taqiyah, it is not sufficient and it would be necessary to repeat the prayers.

According to Khoei (ra) and Tabrizi (ra): “It is permissible to go to Sunni mosques and offer congregational prayers with Sunnis provided that one himself should engage in reciting Hamd and Surah.”[4]

Tabrizi (ra): “If a person stands at a place in a Sunni mosque where part of the floor is covered with stone (slates), it is mandatory to do Sajda on the same stone.”[5]

Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: It is permissible but you must recite Hamd and Surah yourself even though the recitation may be in low voice.[6]

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

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!, answer 203.

Index:  Saying Āmīn during prayer in validate the prayer, answer 017.

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer, answer 547.

Index: Miss a Sunni Imam in Ruku in congregational Prayer, answer 270.

Index: Qualification of an Imam of congregational prayers, answer 021.

[1] . Imam Khomeini, Tauzihul Masail (with annotation), vol.1, pg.767-768, Issue No.1399.

[2] . Kulayni, Muhammad bin Ya’qub, Al-Kafi, vol.3, p. 380, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, fourth, 1407 A.H. The Arabic version of the tradition is as this: (عَنْ أَبِي عَبْدِ اللَّهِ ع قَالَ: مَنْ صَلَّى مَعَهُمْ فِي الصَّفِ الْأَوَّلِ كَانَ كَمَنْ صَلَّى خَلْفَ رَسُولِ اللَّهِ صلی الله علیه وآله و سلم)

[3] . This question has been sent to the offices of grand Ayatollah Khamenei, grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi, Grand Ayatollah Saafi Gulpaigani and Grand Ayatollah Noori Hamedani, may Allah grant them long life.

[4] . Khoei, Sayed Abul Qasim, Serat al-Najat (with connotation by Tabrizi), vol.3, pg.74, Al-Muntakhab Publication Office, qom, 1st edition, 1416 A.H.

[5] . Ibid.

[6] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Question & Answer » Prayer behind a Sunni Prayer Leader.


Shia consider Abu Bakr and Umar as Kafirs?

Question 214: To clear misconception by way of academic proof from the School of Ahlulbayt (as): Do the Shia not respect the four Khalifah, except Imam Ali (as)?

Answer 214: First of all, although the Shia has some criticism towards the khalifahs, they don’t see them as kafirs; the same way they don’t consider any of the other Sahabah as kafirs. In dealing with the khalifahs, the Shia follow the footsteps of the imams, especially Imam Ali (as), in how they would deal with them, not anyone else, because the Shia consider themselves the followers of their infallible imams.

Secondly, what was of dire importance to Imam Ali (as) and the other imams, to the extent that they sacrificed everything, even their lives for it, was the preservation of Islam. It was for the preservation of Islam that Imam Ali (as) would cooperate with the khalifahs and give them the best consultation he could, whenever needed. In many a time, he would send off his children to wars that were at the command of the khalifahs, the reason being that the imam didn’t want anything for himself; anything he wanted was for Islam’s flourishing and since, in any case, Abu Bakr and Umar were the heads of the Islamic state then, and opposing them, in that sensitive and pivotal time in which Islam was expanding its boundaries and there were conquests, and Islam had many adversaries, and the Roman and Persian empires were great threats, Imam Ali (as), through his deep insight, took the right stances, not making Islam any more vulnerable than it already was, and in this way, putting an end to the dreams of the enemies of Islam taking advantage of the circumstances.

Third of all, it’s not correct that Imam Ali (as) accepting the caliphate of the khalifahs. Because, on top of all the objections and oppositions he had before the martyrdom of Lady Zahra (as), in the following years, especially during his own rule, he would strongly criticize their actions and would question their caliphate itself. The third sermon of the Nahjul-Balaghah, known as the sermon of Shiqshiqiyyah, is clear evidence of this claim:

In this sermon, the imam (as) says: “…Then I began to think whether I should assault or endure calmly the blinding darkness of tribulations…”. ( … وَ طَفِقْتُ أَرْتَئِي بَيْنَ أَنْ أَصُولَ بِيَدٍ جَذَّاءَ أَوْ أَصْبِرَ عَلَى طَخْيَةٍ عَمْيَاءَ… )

Therefore, neither does the Shia consider Abu Bakr and Umar as kafirs, nor did Imam Ali (as) totally accept them and their caliphate; all he did was, when it was to Islam’s benefit, to cooperate with and give help and consultation to them.

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

Index: Who were behind the Martyrdom of Lady Fatimah al-Zahra (sa), answer 486.

Index: Imam Ali (as) Gave Bay’ah (Allegiance) to Abu Bakr?, answer 260.


Definition of Bid’ah in Islam

Question 273: Salam, My question is what is the definition of Fitna especially in modern world. Is there anything called Bidat e Hasana? What is the definition of Bid’ah in Islam?

Answer 273: Bid’ah literally means something new, as the Quran describes Allah (swt) as the originator of the heavens and the earth (بَدِيعُ السَّمَوتِ وَالاَرضِ)[1] (badi’ meaning originator and bid’ah are words of the same root) and in Islamic terms, means to relate to religion what isn’t part of religion.

There are two points regarding the description of bid’ah:

1- Bid’ah is a type of bringing about change in religion by adding or omitting something from it. Therefore, any type of change and newness that has nothing to do with religion and is considered something normal isn’t bid’ah. For instance, if a nation chooses a certain day as a day of celebration and joy, not with the intention of relating such matter to religion and saying that religion has asked for such a thing, it isn’t considered bid’ah, although it needs to be analyzed from other points of view to make sure that it isn’t haram for any other reasons (but it isn’t bid’ah).

One can conclude from this that many of the developments and innovations that take place in arts, sports, industry etc. have nothing to do with bid’ah and the only thing that needs to be determined about them is if they are halal or not, nothing more.

2- What is meant by something being new and of no previous record in Islam is for it to not have any accordance with any Islamic laws and in no way fit under any of its guidelines or not be considered an application and instance of an Islamic assertion or doctrine.[2]

In other words, if one says that a certain act is haram or wajib or mustahabb or makrooh, while nothing in religion can be found to justify and explain what relationship this act has with religion, it is bid’ah, or else it isn’t. According to this explanation, many of the doubts and questions that might come up on bid’ah for many can easily be solved and answered. For instance, a great deal of Muslims all over the world celebrate the birthday of the holy Prophet (pbuh) while some consider this act as bid’ah! But according to what we said, bid’ah doesn’t apply here because even if we assume that such an act hasn’t been encouraged (although we might be able to say it has been) by Islam, yet it fits under another category that we are sure that Islam has indeed encouraged and is one of the clear principles of our religion, which is the showing of love and affection to the Prophet (pbuh) and his household (as).

None of the different Islamic sects have ever doubted that bid’ah is extremely forbidden and haram. Naraqi, one of the great Shia scholars says: “There is a consensus by all Muslim nations that bid’ah is haram and its being haram is a clear Islamic principle.”[3] The biggest reason for bid’ah being haram are the many hadiths that can be claimed that they reach the level of tawatur (when a hadith has been narrated so much by many different narrators, in a way that one becomes sure that all of the narrators can’t be mistaken or lying and that the tradition is authentic) that both Shias and Sunnis have narrated saying: “Adding something to religion that has no previous record in religion is bid’ah and all bid’ah is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hellfire.”[4]

Although all Islamic sects see bid’ah as haram, but since its essence isn’t completely clear, sometimes some groups and individuals have gone too far in confronting it and have accused other Muslims of being kafirs while such accusations are incorrect.

A certain group consider any form of worship that wasn’t practiced during the time of the Prophet (pbuh) or the khalifas as bid’ah and haram, and believe that one should stay away from these acts. For instance, a famous Hanbali scholar had announced theology haram and called it the root and cause of all bid’ahs and misguidance.[5] He writes that any inner knowledge that people claim they have that can’t be found in the Quran and tradition is bid’ah and no one has the right to act according to it and invite others to it. He calls upon all Muslims to return to the old religion that was in practice during the time of the first three khalifahs.[6]

These radical beliefs were strengthened in the theories of Ibn Teymiyyah and after him, by Muhammad ibn Abdil-Wahhab and ended in many Muslims being seen as innovators in religion and even mushriks (polygamists). Suleiman ibn Sahman al-Najdi, the grandson of Muhammad ibn Abdil-Wahhab, speaks of the common bid’ahs of the Muslims saying: “The four altars that are built in the mosques for each of the four Islamic sects (Hanafi, Hanbali, Shafe’i and Maleki), reciting the Quran with a high voice, sending blessings on the Prophet (pbuh) (salawat), reciting supplications and doxologies after the adhan and on the night of Friday, the nights of Ramadhan, the night of Eidul-Fitr and Eidul-Adha, gathering for birthdays and deaths of great religious individuals and singing songs on birthdays with a specific tone, mixing poems with sending blessings on the Prophet (pbuh) and Quranic recitation and reciting them after Tarawih prayers, holding dhikr beads for saying dhikr, raising one’s voice while saying the dhikr of لا اله الا الله during taking the dead for burial and while splashing water on their graves after burial, wearing long sufi like clothes, hanging swords and flags in Huseiniyyahs and other places where gatherings are held, beating on tambourines and other musical instruments that make the same sounds such as trumpets, repeating the great name of Allah and His other names etc. are all bid’ah.[7] These fanatical beliefs have caused the killing and massacre of Muslims all over the world.

In response to these extremist beliefs, we say that if we are to look at the laws of Islam like this, then we can no longer accept any change in Muslim lives. We would all have to pray using the same clothes worn during the advent of Islam, think of the same things that they would think of, and pay respect to our dead the same that they would. It is clear that this type of being religious is accepted by no Islamic scholar. All scholars, including Shia scholars have been against these overindulgences and have criticized them in their books.

Because of this, Shia scholars and some Sunni scholars, have divided bid’ah into two groups; haram and halal bid’ah. The author of Jawahir says that some scholars like Muhaqqiq and Sheikh Tusi say that bid’ah is of two types; haram and halal.[8] Shafe’I has been quoted saying that bid’ah is of two types; desirable and undesirable. Bid’ah that is in accordance with Islamic tradition is desirable, while bid’ah which against it is undesirable.[9]

The great Allamah Majlisi says: “In Islamic law, bid’ah refers to something innovated in religion after the demise of the Prophet (pbuh) (that one considers as a part of religion) and there is no general or specific law or principle that applies to it.”[10] Naraqi, also a great Shia scholar, accepts this viewpoint saying: “Bid’ah means for someone other than the Shari’ (the true legislator of Islamic law, being Allah) to falsely claim that something is part of religion without any religious proof or evidence. But if a certain act that hasn’t been specifically “legislated” by religion is done by someone not in way that shows that it is part of religion, it is no longer forbidden because of being bid’ah, although it might be haram because of another reason (but it surely isn’t bid’ah).[11] Shatebi, a Sunni faqih (fiqh expert), has the same viewpoint and says: “Bid’ah is a way in religion that has been added and has no base in Islamic law. But on the outside, it looks like it is part of Islamic law and is mistaken with it.”[12] Therefore, if a Muslim practices something new that isn’t part of religion without relating it to religion, and without doing it with the intention that it is part of religion, it is permissible.

[1] . Surah Baqarah, verse 117.

[2] . With the help of Manshure Aqa’ed of Ayatullah Subhani, pp. 219 and on.

[3] . Awa’idul-Ayyam, pp. 319, quoted by Dr. Yaqub Ali Burji in the weblog of religions and sects.

[4] . Biharul-Anwar, vol. 2, pg. 126. “کل محدثة بدعة و کل بدعة ضلالة و کل ضلالة في النار”.

[5] . Tabaqatul-Hanabilah, vol. 2, pp. 19,27, 34, 37 according to the site of The Islamic Encyclopedia.

[6] . Tabaqatul-Hanabilah, vol. 2, pg. 35, according to the quote of Dr. Yaqub Ali Burji in the weblog of religions and sects.

[7] . Majmu’atul-Tafsir of Ibn Teymiyyah, pg. 340, quoted by ibid.

[8] . Jawahirul-Kalam, vol. 11, pg. 300, quoted by ibid.

[9] . Fathul-Bari fi Sharh Sahihul-Bukhari, vol. 17, pg. 10, quoted by ibid.

[10] . Biharul-Anwar, vol. 74, pg. 202: “و البدعة في الشرع ماحدث بعد الرسول ]بماانه من الدين[ و لم يکن فيه نص علي الخصوص و لايکون داخلاً في بعض العمومات”.

[11] . Awa’idul-Ayyam,pg. 110, quoted by Dr. Yaqub Ali Burji in the weblog of religions and sects.

[12] . Al’I’tisam, Library of Maktabatul-Riyadh al-Hadithah, vol. 1, pg. 127 quoted by ibid.


Miss Sunni Imam in Ruku in congregational Prayer

Question 270: assalam alaykum. when a shia is in a sunni jamaat prayer And lifts his hands for Qonoot in the second rakaat as they go for rokoo is it still considered as a jamaat prayer?

Answer 270: If you know that if you complete qunut, you will not be able to join the Imam in his Ruku, yet you purposely recite qunut, and miss the Imam in Ruku, your congregational prayer will be void, and should act accordingly to the rules of Furada prayers.

Otherwise, if you are sure that if you recite qunut you will not miss the Imam in Ruku, but when you recite qunut and miss the Imam in Ruku, your congregational prayer is in order.

As you know it is Mustahab that qunut be recited in all obligatory and Mustahab prayers before the Ruku of the second Rak’at. So, if you don’t recite it there would be no problem in it and your prayers would be in order.[1]

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

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer, answer 547.

Index: Qualification of an Imam of congregational prayers, answer 021.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Offering prayer behind a Sunni Imam, answer 237.


[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), obligatory acts relating to Namaz, issues 1452&1453;  Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’, Vol. 1, issues 1117-1121.


A Shia woman cannot marry a Sunni man?

Question 612: Salam, I am a sunni Muslim and married too, I am in love with one girl she is Ahle Tashi, can you tell me what is the process of doing Muta? Please keep in mind she doesn’t have father or any other Wali over here, she is alone living with her mother and sister. Please guide me.

Answer 612: Islam has introduced temporary and permanent marriage as the legitimate ways of fulfilling one’s needs and desires. Temporary marriage refers to the marriage of a man and woman who have no barriers for doing so.  It takes place with the consent of both sides of the contract and a specified dowry and timeframe. According to Islam, the validity of temporary marriage is contingent upon certain criteria being met, namely getting the father’s (and in the case of not having a father, the paternal grandfather’s) consent if the girl is a virgin.  If the girl isn’t a virgin and has lost her virginity through legitimate marriage, her father’s consent is no longer a condition, but if it has been lost as a result of shubhah intercourse (mistaken/confused/accidental intercourse) or illegitimate intercourse (adultery), it is a preferred precaution to get the father’s consent[1] (although it still isn’t mandatory).  Also, if a girl wants to get married (temporarily or permanently) and neither has a father nor a paternal grandfather, there will no longer be any need for permission from anyone else (regardless of whether she is a virgin or not).[2]

Nevertheless, the marriage of a virgin girl who hasn’t reached rushd (the stage in which one can distinguish between good and bad and can tell what is to his/her benefit) without the permission of her father is void.”[3]

Ayatollah Sistani (ha) says: If a woman is over thirty years of age, and still virgin, and she is not independent, it is obligatory on her to seek the permission of her guardian for marriage. Rather, even if she is independent, she must seek his consent, as a matter of compulsory precaution.[4]

As for the marriage of Shia men with Sunni women, there are different viewpoints on the issue in fiqh; the famous verdict being that it is permissible,[5] especially when there are chances of the guidance of the woman to Shiism and the Ahlul-Bayt’s school of thought.

The viewpoints of Shia scholars regarding the marriage of Shias with Sunnis are as follows:

Ayatollah Fazel Lankarani (ra): The marriage of a Muslim woman with a Non-Muslim man is batil (void), the marriage of a Shia woman with a Sunni man is makruh, the marriage of a Muslim man with a Non-Muslim woman is also void unless the marriage is a temporary one (mutah), and the marriage of a Shia man with a Sunni woman is okay.

Ayatollah Bahjat (ra): Temporary marriage with the People of the Book (Ahlul-Kitab) is correct and as an obligatory precaution it isn’t permissible to perform the marriage contract of a Shia girl or woman and Sunni man.

Ayatollah Sistani (ha): Getting married to the People of the Book isn’t permissible as an obligatory precaution.  On the other hand, it is okay to get married with Sunnis if there isn’t any fear of going astray and losing Shia beliefs as a result.

Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi (ha): It isn’t permissible for a Muslim to get married to a Non-Muslim, while it is okay for Shia men to get married to Sunni women, but taken into consideration that there are chances of going astray for Shia women getting married to Sunni men, such a marriage isn’t permissible.

Note: Marriage between Shias and some “Muslim” sects such as: The Ghulat, The Nasebis and The Khawarij, who falsely claim themselves Muslim, but in reality are Kafirs, isn’t permissible.

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

Index: Permanent or Temporary marriage of a married man without the permission of his wife, answer 565.

Index: Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

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

Index: Looking at non-Mahram Body for Marriage, answer 611.

Index: A Shia Muslim woman cannot marry a non-Muslim man, answer 342.

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

Index: A Muslim Woman Cannot Marry a Non-Muslim Man, answer 576.

[1] Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, pg. 459, issue 2377.

[2] Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, pg. 387, issue 2376.

[3] Question 1483 (website: 1530).

[4] . The official website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A: Permanent Marriage.

[5] Naser Makarem Shirazi (kharej fiqh lessons on nikah [marriage], academic year 1381-1382 on his official website); Seyyid Sadiq Rohani, Fiqhul-Sadeq, vol. 21, pg. 469, from the software of this book from the institute of Al-Imam Al-Rohani.


Shia View of the Mutazilah and Wasil ibn Ata

Question 095: What is the Shia view of the Mutazila and Wasil ibn Ata?

Answer 095: Mutazila were an intellectual group interested in mental issues. They have been trying to collect between religion and intellect. They have stipulated some principles by which everyone who acts based on these doctrines is counted as Mutazilah. As a result, every member of this group has believed in such principles.

The basic and salient points of their school of thoughts are as follows:

– Tawhid, (absence of plurality and attributes).

– ‘adl (Justice), (God is just and that He does not oppress His creatures).

– Divine retribution (al-wa’d wa al-wa’id), (God has determined a reward for the obedient and a punishment for the disobedient).

– Manzilah bayna al-manzilatayn (a position between the two positions). This means that a fasiq (i.e. one who commits one of the “greater sins,” such as a wine imbiber, adulterer, or a liar etc.) is neither a believer (mu’min) nor an infidel (kafir); fisq is an intermediary state between both belief and infidelity.

– al-‘amr bil ma’ruf wa al-nahy ‘an al-munkar (bid to do what is right and forbid what is wrong).

The opinion of the Mu’tazilah about this Islamic duty is firstly, that the Shari’ah is not the exclusive means of identifying the ma’ruf and the munkar; human reason can, at least partially, independently identify the various kinds of ma’ruf and munkar.

Since they follow their intellectual arguments, they have had different opinions with each other. The differentiating between their beliefs caused establishing some different groups that two important divisions of them are as follows:

  1. The Basrah school of thought: Basra is a place where the Mutazilah had been established since the second Hejira century.[1] We can also call the establisher of this school as the establisher of the Mutazilah. The foremost among the Mu’tazilah, who established Mu’tazilism (al-‘i’tizal) as a school of thought is Wasil ibn ‘Ata’.
  2. The Baqdad school of thought: The school of Baqdad had been established near the end of second Hejira century. This school was established by Boshr ibn Motamed. He had been taught al-I’tizal byhis two teachers, Boshr ibn Saeed and Abu Usman Zafarani.[2]

Generally, it is said that those Mutazilah, who belong to the school of Baqdad, were mostly inclined to Shia than the Basrah School, however most of both groups were Sunni.[3]

Some Baqdadian scholars like Jafar bin Harb, Jafar bing Mobsher and Eskafi have struggled to change the belief of Mutazilah as their own belief. They have believed in such belief that Ali (a.s) was superior to the Caliphs but Talha and Zobair were not so.[4]

They have also had faith that Ali (a.s) was the most virtuous person and superior to the Caliphs after the Holy Prophet (pbuh), however Abul-Hudhayl was one of the Basrah Mutazilah who believed in equality between Ali (a.s) and Abu Bakir.[5]

The Doctrine of Divine Justice in which Shia and Mutazilah have different opinions with each other:

It is evident that none of the Islamic sects denied justice as one of the Divine Attributes. No one has ever claimed that God is not just. The difference between the Mu’tazilah and their opponents is about the interpretation of Justice. The Asha’irah interpret it in such away that it is equivalent, in the view of the Mu’tazilah, to a denial of the Attribute of Justice. Otherwise, the Asha’irah are not at all willing to be considered the opponents of justice.

The Mu’tazilah believe that some acts are essentially ‘just’ and some intrinsically ‘unjust.’ For instance, rewarding the obedient and punishing the sinners is justice; and that God is Just. E.g., He rewards the obedient and punishes the sinners, and it is impossible for Him to act otherwise. Rewarding the sinners and punishing the obedient is essentially and intrinsically unjust, and it is impossible for God to do such a thing.

Similarly, compelling His creatures to commit sin, or creating them without any power of free will, then creating the sinful acts at their hands, and then punishing them on account of those sins. This is injustice, an ugly thing for God to do. It is unjustifiable and ungodly. The Asha’irah believe that no act is intrinsically or essentially just or unjust.

Justice is essentially whatever God does. If supposedly, God were to punish the obedient and reward the sinners, it would be as just. Similarly, if God creates His creatures without any will, power or freedom of action, then if He causes them to commit sins and then punishes them for that – it is not essential injustice.

For the same reason that the Mu’tazilah emphasize justice, they deny al-tawhid al-‘af’ali (It means that all beings, or rather all acts [even human acts] exist by the Will of God, and are in some way willed by His sacred Essence). They say that al-tawhid al-‘af’ali implies that God, not the human beings, is the maker of human deeds.

Also, thereby, the Mu’tazilah believe in human freedom, free will and are its staunch defenders, contrary to the Asha’irah who deny human freedom and free will.

Shia believe that there is no contradiction between the will of human and Tawhid Afali, because, the will of the human is at the length of the will of Allah (SWT) not at the width instead. Human beings are unable to reach his own will without the will of Allah (SWT).

In the Shi’ite faith the principle of Divine Justice is considered one of the five essential doctrines.

Conclusion: Both Shia and Mutazilah Schools of thought, have agreement in many religious tenets. They have different opinions about Justice, Imamat, (some of Mutazilah scholars believe that Imam Ali (a.s) is superior to the Caliphs and appointed by Allah (SWT), the Almighty, but some of them believe Abu Bakir is equal with Him rather superior to Him!) and other opinions that some of them have already been explained.

That’s why we Shia aren’t able to accept all their beliefs, not to reject.[6]

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

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

[1] . Farmaniyan, Mahdi, Feraq Tasannun, Pg.311.

[2] . Fayoumi, Muhammad Ibrahim, al-Mutazilah Takvin al-Aqlal_Arabi, Pg. 338.

[3] . Ibid, Pg. 135.

[4] . Al-Mutazilah Takvin al-Aqlal-Arabi, Pg. 350.

[5] . Ibid, 339.

[6] . For further information: refer to the Book of Buhuth fi al-Milal wal-Nihal, by Ayatollah Sobhani.


Wilayat e-Takwini in Sunni traditions

Question 351: Salam Maulana, Can wilayat e takwini be explained by sunni hadith’s?

Answer 351: Wilayah Takwini means guardianship over all things in this world and to have control over them and to be able to render change in them in any way; such power primarily belongs only to Allah (swt), but can also be attributed to the prophets and infallible imams (pbuth) and complete individuals secondarily.[1]

The word Takwin is derived from “Kawn” meaning “Be” or “Being”. Considering the Saying of Allah is the Act of Him not His Words, Voice and the like, in the Holy Quran the meaning of Takwin is: “Wonderful Originator of the heavens and the earth And when He decrees an affair, He only says to it: Be, so there it is”[2]

بَدیعُ السَّماواتِ وَ اْلأَرْضِ وَ إِذا قَضی أَمْرًا فَإِنَّما یَقُولُ لَهُ کُنْ فَیَکُونُ.

The Holy Quran says: “What is in the heavens and the earth is Allah’s Surely Allah is the Self-sufficient, the Praised”[3]

لِلَّهِ ما فِي السَّماواتِ وَ الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ هُوَ الْغَنِيُّ الْحَميد.

The Holy Quran also says: “Then are they sent back to Allah, their Master, the True One Now surely His is the judgment and He is swiftest in taking account”[4]

ثُمَّ رُدُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ مَوْلاهُمُ الْحَقِّ أَلا لَهُ الْحُكْمُ وَ هُوَ أَسْرَعُ الْحاسِبينَ.

Wilayat al-Takwini can have three meanings as follows:

  1. Having Wilayat over creation of the world: This means that Allah (swt) gives one of His creation an ability by which he can create or emit a world. Although, it is not impossible for Allah to do so, as He is surely able to do anything and give such ability to anyone He prefer, but verses of the Holy Quran show that Surely Allah has power over all things and He is the only Creator.
  2. Wilayat Takwini is a path towards Allah’s grace: This means that every blessing, grace and power of Allah has been giving to the human by awleyââ­allâh (the friends of Allah) and the special servant of Allah. This type of Wilaya is one of main of belief that Shia believe in.

In forth volume of the book Sharh e Nahjul Balagha Ibn Abi al-Hadid narrated the Lady Fatimah Zahra’s (sa) sermon regarding Fadak in the presence of Muhajir and Ansar in which Hazrat Zahra (sa) under the verse 25 of Surah Maeda has said: “O you who believe! be careful of (your duty to)  Allah and seek means of nearness to Him” She said: I praise Allah that whoever is in the heavens and the earth makes obeisance to Him only, … and We are means among the creations.[5]

و الحمد الله الذی لعظمته و نوره یبتغی من فی السموات و الارض إلیه الوسیله و نحن وسیلة فی خلقه

  1. Having Wilayat in a certain scale like giving life to the dead and curing the sick by the Prophets and the friends of Allah (pbuth). There are many traditions regarding this type of Wilayat al-Takwini in which the Holy Prophet and the Infallibles Imam (pbuth) did so.

The following are some examples of such Wilayat about the prophets (as) that have perfectly mentioned in the Holy Quran:

A: Surah Ale Imran, verses 48 & 49: “And He will teach him the Book and the wisdom and the Tawrat and the Injeel. And (make him) a messenger to the children of Israel: That I have come to you with a sign from your Lord That I determine for you out of dust like the form of a bird, then I breathe into it and it becomes a bird with Allah’s Permission And I heal the blind and the leprous, and bring the dead to life with Allah’s Permission And I inform you of what you should eat and what you should store in your houses Most surely there is a sign in this for you, if you are believers”.

So, such power primarily belongs only to Allah (swt), but it is attributed to the prophet (as) secondarily.

وَ يُعَلِّمُهُ الكِتابَ وَالْحِكْمَةَ وَ التَّوراةَ وَالانْجيلَ- وَ رَسُولًا الى بَنى اسْرائيلَ انّى قَدْ جِئْتُكُمْ بِآيةٍ مِنْ رَبِّكُمْ انّى اخْلُقُ لَكُمْ مِنَ الطِّينَ كَهَيْئَةِ الطَّيْرِ فَانْفُخُ فيهِ فَيَكُونُ طَيْراً بِاذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ ابْرِءُ الاكْمَهَ وَ الابْرَصَ وَ احْيِى الْمَوْتى بِاذْنِ اللَّهِ وَ انَبِّئُكُمْ بما تَأكُلُونَ وَ ما تَدَّخِرُونَ فى بُيُوتِكُمْ انَّ فى ذلِكَ لآيَةَ لَكُمْ انْ كُنْتُمْ مُؤمِنينَ‏.

  1. Surah al-Naml, verse 40: “The one who had knowledge of the Book said,” I will bring it to you in the twinkling of an eye.” So when he saw it set near him, he said,” This is by the grace of my Lord, to test me if I will give thanks or be ungrateful. And whoever gives thanks, gives thanks only for his own sake. And whoever is ungrateful [should know that] my Lord is indeed all-sufficient, all-generous.”

قالَ الَّذى عِنّدَهُ عِلّمٌ مِنَ الّكِتابِ انَا آتيكَ بِه قَبْلَ انْ يَرْتَدَّ الَيْكَ طَرْفُكَ فَلَما رَآهُ مُسْتَقِراً عِنْدَهُ قالَ هذا مِنْ فَضْلِ رَبّى لَيَبْلُوَنى أَاشْكُرُ امْ اكْفُرْ وَ مَنْ شَكَرَ فَانَّما يَششْكُرُ لِنَفْسِهِ وَ مَنْ كَفَرَ فَانَّ رَبّى غَنىٌّ كَريم

Wilyat al-Takwini according to Ahlul Sunna:  During the Battle of Khaybar, when several attempts by Muslims to capture this citadel in some single combats failed, that night the Holy Prophet (pbuh) proclaimed, “By Allah, tomorrow I shall give it [the banner] to a man who loves Allah and His Messenger, whom Allah and His Messenger love. Allah will bestow victory upon him.” That morning, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) called out for Ali ibn Abi Țalib (as) while His eyes were painful. Ali (as) came to the Holy Prophet (pbuh), who cured him of his ophthalmia, an inhibitive inflammation of the eyes, by applying his saliva in them. The holy Prophet (pbuh) sent him with his flag and Ali (as) attacked the Khaybar and conquered it.

According to the tradition, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) has cured Imam Ali’s (as) ophthalmia by His Wilayat al-Takwini.[6]

The Infallible Imams’ (pbuth) Wilayat al-Takwini according to Ahlul Sunna:

  1. Ibn Abbas narrated: Abdullah ibn Salam along with a few of Muslims went to the house of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) around noon and shared his problems with Him. The Wilayat verse of the Hoy Quran has sent down at that time. When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recited this verse to them, they said: We are satisfied with the Wilayat of Allah, His Messenger and Believers, then Bilal performed Adhan and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) went to the mosque. People have been offering their prayers, some were at ruku, some sujud and others at the state of qiyam. The holy Prophet (pbuh) saw a beggar circulating around people. The Prophet (pbuh) called him and asked: Did anyone give you anything? Yes, the man said. The Holy Prophet asked: What did he give you? A silver ring, the man replied. Who gave you the ring? The Prophet (pbuh) asked. That man who is standing, the man replied. The holy Prophet looked at that man ad saw He is Ali ibn Abitalib (as). The Prophet asked again: At which state He gave you the ring? He gave me the ring while He was bowing down, the man replied. And then the Holy Prophet (pbuh) recited this verse of the Holy Quran: “Only Allah is your Vali) Friend or Guardian (and His Messenger and those who believe, those who keep up prayers and pay the poor rate while they bow”.[7]

In Durrul Manthour So’youti narrated this issue and in the end he writes: When the Holy Prophet (pbuh) asked the man, Who gave you the ring? And the mand replied, the one who is at the state of Qiyam and pointed Imam Ali by his hand, the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: He is Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), said Takbir and then recited this verse of the Holy Quran:  “And whoever takes Allah and His Messenger and those who believe for a guardian, then surely the Party of Allah are they that shall be triumphant”[8]

وَ مَن یَتَوَلَّ اللهَ وَ رَسُولَه وَ الَّذینَ آمَنوا فَاِنَّ حِزْبَ اللهِ هُمُ الْغالِبُونَ

  1. In Shawahid al-Tanzil Hakim Haskani narrated 24 traditions under the Wilaya verse of the Holy Quran. Some of the people he narrated hadith from are, Ibn Abbas, Ammar bin Yaser, Jaber ibn Abluddal Ansari, Ami al-Momeneen Ali ibn Abi Talib (as), Miqdad ibn Aswad Kenedi and Abuzar Ghifari.[9]
  2. In Tafsir al-Kabir, Fakhr Razi narrated three hadith and he also narrated a hadith from Abuzar in which he has proven the Wilyah al-Takwini by the verse of the Holy Quran that has send down for Imam Ali (as).[10]

For further information regarding other traditions narrated in this regards from Ahlul Sunna sources, please refer to the Book Al-Ghadir by Allama Amini, 52-2/53, Book Ahqaq al-Haq. 409-2/399 and Ruh al-Ma’ani, 6/167.

Index: “Ashhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah” in Adhan and Iqamah, answer 276.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!, answer 203.

[1] . Refer to:

[2] . Surah al-Baqara, verse 117.

[3] . Surah Luqman, verse 26.

[4] . Surah al-Anaam, verse 62.

[5] . Sharh e Nahjul Balagha, Ibn Abi al-Hadid, Vol. 4, Pg. 79. For further information regarding Intercession, please refer to the following answer:



[6] . Kamil, ibn Athir, Vol. 2, Pg. 219;  Shia sources: Allama Majlesi, Biharul Anwar, Vol. 21, Pg. 298.

[7] . Surah al-Maedah, verse 55;  Ma Nazala min al-Quran fee Ali (as), n 66.

[8] . al-Durrul Manthour, 2/520;   Surah Maedah, verse 56.

[9] . Shawahed al-Tanzil, Vol. 1, Pg. 209, H 216.

[10] . al-Tafsir al-Kabir, Vol. 2, Pgs. 52-53.


Reasoning for believing Imamat of the Infallible Imams

Question 619: Aselam akeyikum werahmetullah. Is believing in Imamiya part of an Aqida for Shi’ism? Meaning, any Muslim who doesn’t believe in Imamiya knowngly a Kaffir, otherwise a Fasiq?

Thanks a lot!

Answer 619: Imamate plays a crucial role in Islam. From the Holy Quran’s point of view, imamate is the final stage of human evolution, to which only Messengers of God have reached. The Holy Quran says about Prophet Abraham (a): ”Remember when Abraham’s God examined him with different means, and he successfully passed all those tests, so that God told him that he was appointed as the people’s Imam and leader, and Abraham (a) asked God to appoint his descendents as Imams as well, but God replied that imamate could not be handed over to tyrants, and only those of his offspring who were pure and sinless would deserve such a grace.”.[1]

This verse shows that imamate has a very high status and rank, since Prophet Abraham (a) was appointed as an Imam while he was already a Prophet. This happened only after he passed many difficult tests and trials.

The position of Imamate is sometimes combined with Prophethood, so that an eminent Prophet such as Abraham (a) becomes an Imam. Another evident reason is the combination of Prophethood and Imamate in the Prophet of Islam (s).

It also occurs that Imamate is separated from a Prophetic mission, such as what occurred in the case of the Shia Imams (a) who were only Imams, without being subject to direct divine revelation.

Reasoning for the Imamate of the Infallible Imams

Since the Imams are appointed by God, there is a need of rational reasoning to recognize the individuals who are actually imam. For instance, human logic can distinguish between an Imam and other people by witnessing characteristics such as knowledge, justice, courage, sinlessness and so forth in the Imam, and a lack of such characteristics in others. In addition, Quranic verses and authentic traditions also prove the imamate of an individual.

The following are some verses and their interpretations which are about the issue of imamate:

  • [2]«انما انت منذر و لکل قوم هاد», which means, “Your duty is to advise people, and there is a leader for every group.”

Shia interpreters and some Sunni ones, including Imam Fakhr Razi, says, “Here the term advisor refers to the Holy Prophet (s) and the leader to Imam Ali (a), since Ibn Abbas said that the Holy Prophet (s) put his hands on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added «و انت الهادی یا علی…» that means Ali (a) was the leader and shall continue to lead people after the Prophet (s).”[3]

In Al-Durrul-Manthur, one of the famous Sunni commentaries, several interpretations of the above verse are introduced, in which it is written that upon the revelation of this verse, the Holy Prophet (s) put his hand on his chest and said that he was the advisor, and then pointed to Ali (a) and added that Ali was the leader.[4]

Other similar traditions from other theologians can be found in various other sources such as from Hakem Neyshabouri in “Mostadrak”, Dhahabi in “Talkhis”, Fakhr Razi and Ibn Kathir in their commentaries and Ibn Sabagh Maleki in “Alfusulul-Muhimmah” and Ganji Shafei in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, and Tabari in his commentary, and Ibn Hayan Andolosi in “Al-Bahrul-Muhit” and Neyshabouri in his commentary and Hamvini in “Faraed Olsamtin” and as well as many others. To become familiar with the sources of such traditions and their evidences, see the book Ihghagh Olhagh, Vol. 3, pp 88-92.

  • «با ایها الذین آمنوا اتقوا الله و کونوا مع الصادقین[5] Which reads, “O, believers, avoid antagonism (toward God’s commands) and be with the loyal people.”

Imam Fakhr Razi interpreted the phrase ‘loyal people’ as meaning infallibles. He also added, “By infallible the verse refers to the whole nation in its entirety.”[6] This is while no Arab speaker, at the date of revelation of this verse, was using this phrase to refer to the nation; therefore, such an interpretation does not seem to be valid.

We should accept that in every era, there are loyal people who do not make any mistakes in their deeds and speeches, whom we should follow.

Moreover, many Sunni interpreters have quoted Ibn Abbas as saying that the above-mentioned verse is referring to Imam Ali (a). Allamah Tha’alabi in his book of commentary, Ganji in “Kifayatul-Taleb”, Allamah Sibt Jowzi in “Tadhkirah”, all interpret this verse as referring to Imam Ali (a) and his household. Ibn Abbas added, “Ali (a) is the most loyal man.”[7]

Many other traditions quoted from the members of the prophetic household confirm this same interpretation.[8]

  • «اطیعواالله و اطیعوا الرسول و اولی الامر منکم»,[9] Says: “Obey God and obey the Messenger of God and the Holders of Authority.”

Shia interpreters unanimously believe that by the ‘Holders of Authority’, the verse is referring to the Infallible Imams (a).

In addition, the Hanafi Sheikh Soleiman Qanduzi in his book “Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah” quoted the book “Mujahid” as saying that the verse refers to Ali (a) when the Holy Prophet (s) appointed him as his substitute in Madinah when he himself was involved in the Tabuk war.

It is also quoted from Imam Ali (a) as referring to this verse in a debate with the Mohajerin and Ansar, so that they admitted to the legitimacy of his rule.[10]

In “Shawahidul-Tanzil” of Hakem Haskani, a Sunni scholar, the interpretation of the same verse includes a quotation from Imam Ali (a) as saying that he once asked the Holy Prophet (s) about the meaning of “ruler”, to which the Holy Prophet (s) replied, “You are the first of them.”

Islamic beliefs are like a connected chain, such that if one part is missing, then the whole chain will be useless and have no benefit.  In other words, believing in Allah has its entailments; belief in these entailments is what makes the difference and brings about Allah’s satisfaction.  If you examine the story of Satan being expelled from heaven, you will find that he asked Allah for the chance to live until the Day of Judgment to deviate man.[11]  Therefore, it is understood that Satan believed in Allah and the Day of Judgment but Allah still names him a Kāfir.[12]  So just believing in Allah is not enough for one’s belief to be accepted, but one must also stay firm in regard to the results and implications of this belief.  One of the results of one’s belief in Allah is belief in His messengers meaning the prophets, in such a way that denying them would be like denying Allah.  Also, believing in the Imams, meaning the prophets’ successors, is the inevitable result and reflection of one’s belief in the prophet, because the Imams are the prophet’s successors that were appointed by himself and denying them is like denying the prophet himself.  Therefore, one cannot believe in the prophet and not believe in the imams.  It is the same between each one of the imams, meaning that denying one of them is like denying all of them, for the reason that proves the Imamate of each one of them is the same and applies to all of them; all of them are the successors of the prophet and each Imam has been approved of by the previous one and has introduced the next Imam.  Therefore, denying one of them leads to the denial of the previous one and because all of them were appointed by the prophet, denying them is denial of the prophet.

Finally, we will mention a few ahadith in this regard: Imam Sadiq narrates from his great ancestors, meaning the previous Imams, that they narrated from the prophet that he said: “My successors are twelve individuals, the first is Ali bin Abi Talib and the last is the ‘Ghā’im’, they are my successors, vicegerents, the leaders after me and my Hujjats (reasons) over my Ummah, whoever bears witness to their imamate is a Mu’min (Believer), and whoever denies their Imamate is a kāfir (disbeliever).”[13]

It is narrated in another hadith by Imam Sadiq that: “One who does not follow our words has rejected Allah’s words, and one who rejects Allah’s words is a polytheist”.[14]

Also, it is mentioned in another hadith by Imam Kadhim that: “One who has hate for us resents the prophet of Allah and he actually has hate for Allah, and one who has hate for Allah deserves the hellfire and will not receive help from anyone.”[15]

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

Index: The Wilayah of Imam Ali (as) / Political Authority in Ghadir Khumm, answer 470.

Index: “Ashhadu anna aliyyan waliyyullah” in Adhan and Iqamah, answer 276.

Index: Shia Ithna Ashari is Jafari school of thought, answer 111.

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Shia answers: The Term Shia in Quran, answer 129.

Index: Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!

[1] Surah Baqarah, Verse 124

7 Surah Ra’ad, Verse 7

[3] Tafsir Kabir, Fakhr Razi, Volume 19, Page 14

[4] Al-Durrul-Manthur, Jalaladdin Suyuti, Volume. 4 Page 45

[5] Surah Bara’at, Verse 119

[6] Commentary of Fakhre Razi, volume 16, Page 221

[7] Ihqaqul-Haqq Volume. 3 Page 297

[8] Commentary of Noor Al Thaqalain Volume 2 Page 280,

[9] Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, Page 114 – 115 – 116

[10] Shawahidul-Tanzil, Volume 1, Page 148

[11] “قالَ رَبِّ فَاَنظِرنِي ِالَي َيوِم يُبعَثُون …” Hijr:36; Sād:79.

[12] Baqarah:34; Sād:74.

[13] “عَنْ جَعْفَرِ بْنِ مُحَمَّدٍ عَنْ آبَائِهِ عَنِ النَّبِيِّ ص قَالَ الْأَئِمَّةُ بَعْدِي اثْنَا عَشَرَ أَوَّلُهُمْ عَلِيُّ بْنُ أَبِي طَالِبٍ وَ آخِرُهُمُ الْقَائِمُ فَهُم خُلَفَائِي و أَوصِيَائِي و أَولِيَائِي وَ حُجَجُ اللَّه عَلَي اُمّتِي بَعدِي الْمُقِرُّ بِهِمْ مُؤْمِنٌ وَ الْمُنْكِرُ لَهُمْ كَافِرٌ”، Sheikh Saduq, Man lā Yahduruhū al-Faqīh, vol. 4, book of wasiyyah (i.e., making a will), the chapter on the will of Adam (as), pg. 180,…hadith 5406, Jame’eye Mudarresin Publications, Qom, 1413 AH. Of course, the term ‘kufr here is to be taken in its literal sense, which is to hide and conceal the truth, and not in its common usage.

[14] “الرَّادُّ عَلَينَا الرَّادّ عَلَى الله وَ هُوَ عَلَى حَدِّ الشَّركِ بِاللهِ…” Kuleini, vol. 1, chapter of difference in hadith, pg. 68, Dār al-Kutub al-Islamiyyah Publication, Tehran, 1365 (solar calendar).

[15] “ألا يا عبد الرحمن من أبغضنا فقد أبغض محمدا و من أبغض محمدا فقد أبغض الله جل و علا، و من أبغض الله جل و علا كان حقا على الله أن يصليه النار و ماله من نصير” Majlisi, Muhammad Baqir, Bihār al-Anwār, vol. 97, pg. 122, Al-Wafā’ Institute, Lebanon, 1404 AH.


Shia Believe Ahlus Sunnah are Muslim not Kafir!

Question 203: Assalamu Alaikum. Do Shia believe Sunni followers (Ahlus Sunnah) are kafir or nonbeliever?

Answer 203: The first degree and step in Islam, which is the necessary condition to being Muslim, is to admit to the two principles of tawhid (the oneness of Allah (swt)) and nubuwwah (prophethood). The concept of لا اله الا الله (there is no God but Allah (swt)), is the true essence of Islam and its most important doctrine, containing all of the different dimensions of tawhid in it, and admitting to the prophethood of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), is the acknowledgement that he is the seal of the prophets and that his religion is the final one to come, nullifying all other religions before it (meaning that these religions can no longer be followed, although they might have been the religions to be followed before the advent of Islam). The rest of the degrees of higher faith start from here, which is to follow the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) in all of his teachings and decrees without any questioning.

One who bears witness to the two principles mentioned above, has embraced Islam and parted from all other religions. When such takes place, all rulings pertaining to Muslims (such as the permissibility of marrying other Muslims, having transactions with them, the taharah (being pure and not najis) of their bodies and their children’s bodies, will all pertain to him/her as well[1] and his/her life and possessions will be respected and defending him/her will become a responsibility of the Islamic governor and the Muslim society. As was said, this is the least that every Muslim must bear and others can no longer call such Muslims Mushriks or Kafirs anymore, even though their faith is the lowest one can have, but then again, it is faith.

In addition to what was said above, according to the ithna’ashari sect, considering the different verses and hadiths that imply this matter, accepting all twelve individuals as imams, leaders and successors to the holy Prophet (pbuh) after him is one the most important conditions of faith and the acceptance of our actions and worship from Allah (swt), because accepting the holy Prophet (pbuh) and the Quran as the final revelation to the prophet (pbuh) which hasn’t been changed and falsified till today, necessitates the precise and complete practice of the teachings of the Quran and the prophet (pbuh). One of these teachings and guidelines which is of extreme importance, is for us to obey the imams. Therefore, in reality, disobeying them is equal to disobeying the Prophet (pbuh) and Allah (swt) because they are the ones who have ordered us to follow them.

Imam Sadiq (as) recommended his followers to be good and behave nicely toward ahdlul Sunnah, offer their prayers at Ahlul Sunna Mosques, visit their (ahlul sunnah) patients, go to their funeral, and if possible be their Mukabbir (one who pronounces takbir and other Dhikrs in congregational prayers). The Imam (as) says: If you did so they would say, you are the followers of Ja’afari sect. May Allah, the Almighty Ja’afar’s soul rest in peace. How good the Imam educated his followers.[2]

Thus, the Sunni followers are not considered as Kafir. They have only the lowest level of faith! They are not the true believer.

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

Index: The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni, answer 187.

Index: Ask Islam: How to become a Muslim, answer 527.

Index: Shia answers: The Term Shia in Quran, answer 129.

[1] . Of course, there is a difference of opinion regarding the purity of the bodies of the people of the book, which you can learn about by referring to the different risalahs of various marjas; Sayyid Sistani (ha) says: The Ahlul Kitab (that is, the Jews, the Christians and the Zoroastrians) are ritually pure (tahir) as long as you do not know that they have become ritually impure (najis) by coming into contact with an impure object. You can follow this ruling when dealing with them.

[2] . Man La Yahduruhul Faqih, al-Sadoup, Vol. 1, Pg. 267, H. 1128.


Beating Wife / Getting married without permission of parents

Question 602: Salaam! I’m a 20 years girl married to a Shia (I’m Sunni). When I married him I was married to a Christian (I’m a revert). There was not a sheikh, no witnesses and no Wali for me. My family doesn’t know about marriage. What is the ruling on getting married without permission of parents? This man started to beat me every day. Is this marriage valid?

Answer 602: According to the Shia point of view, the baligh virgin girl who can distinguish between what is to her benefit and what isn’t, must get her father’s or paternal grandfather’s (in the case of not having a father) permission if she wants to get married. In the case of her father or paternal grandfather not being present in a way that she can’t get their permission, and her having the need of getting married, their permission will no longer be a condition. [1] The same goes for the woman who isn’t a virgin; she doesn’t need to get permission either, if her virginity was lost to a previous husband. In the case of her virginity being lost by a mistaken intercourse, or even adultery, it is a mustahabb precaution to get permission if possible (which means it is better, although it still isn’t a condition and isn’t wajib).[2]

Therefore, if you have already got married and your virginity was lost to the previous husband, you don’t need to get your parents’ permission. And if you recited the marriage contract your marriage with him (Shia man) is valid.

Note: There is no problem for a Shia man to marry a Sunni woman, but if he fears to be misguided by her, it is not permissible for him to do so. [3]

The necessity of wife’s obedience to her husband is restricted to conjugal matters and the husband does not have the right to force her to do the washing up, cleaning, cooking and the likes.

The problems concerning household chores should be solved through understanding, sincerity, cooperation, sacrifice and selflessness of both husband and wife. Therefore, the husband even does not have the right to reprimand or rebuke his wife for not doing these jobs what to speak of bullying and beating her.

The man should know that he has not brought home a maidservant or a slave woman; rather he has brought home a partner, colleague, friend and helper, one whom he can expect to be available for sexual pleasures only.

Therefore, beating is not the act that Islam has allowed it without any condition. However, we don’t know the reason which is behind why your husband beats you every day!

So, try all your best to understand each other by providing a situation and condition in which both of you can discuss about your marriage and even the reason which is behind beating you.

It should be noted that according to the teachings of Islam and the tradition of great role models of our religion the atmosphere shadowing over a marital life at home must be full of intimacy and friendship as opposed to selfishness, self-centeredness and arrogance. If a wife and husband are friends with each other, most of the issues which pose themselves as predicaments will be easily resolved.

But, if you have already discussed with him about such issues and he wouldn’t like to leave his bad actions and there is no logical and canonical reasons behind them, try to convince him visit a professional psychologist or an Islamic scholar.

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

Index: Permissibility of getting Divorce when your partner has lied, answer 295.

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

 Index:  Rules regarding temporary or permanent marriage with people of the book, answer 080.

May your life be filled with health, joy, love and happiness!

[1]. Tawdihul-Masa’ele Maraje’, vol. 2, Pg. 387, issue 2376.

[2]. Ibid, vol. 2, Pgs. 458-459.

[3]. Ayatullah Vahid, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.3, issue 1298; Ayatullah Tabrizi, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 1298; Ayatulah Nouri, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 668; Ayatullah Safi, Hidayatul-Ibad, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr; Imam Khomeini, Tahrirul-Wasilah, vol.2, Al-Qawl fil Kufr, Ayatullah Khamenei (istifta’), question 16 and 143; Ayatullah Makarem, Istifta’at, vol.1, question 708; Ayatullah Sistani, Minhajul-Salehin, vol.2, issue 215; The office of Ayatullah Fazel and Ayatullah Bahjat (narrated by Porseman).


Can Sunnis Go To Heaven / Types of Non-Muslims

Question 317: Guys, I am Al-Sunni, Will I go to Jannat? Generally, can Sunnis Go To Heaven?

Answer 317: Those who weren’t Muslim can be divided into two categories:

1- The infidels and rejecters of faith: Those who knew Islam was the true religion, yet refused to accept it out of negligence and other personal reasons. This group deserve to go to Hell and remain there forever.

2- Those who never heard of Islam or what they heard of was a small part of it, making it resemble other religions that they knew were false. Such people will be saved given they were sincere in their own religions.

Islam says these people will have a chance if they had followed their own religions; religions that were in harmony with their human nature.

The same things that were said go for those who were Muslim, but didn’t hear about Imam Ali (as) or heard very little.
In a nutshell, all of those whom the truth hasn’t reached not as a result of shortcoming and not striving for the truth, don’t deserve to go to Hell, because it is the place for the sinners, and those who tried but never found the truth aren’t considered sinners and negligent.

The criterion for going to Paradise and Hell, according to the Quran, are a person’s deeds. A person’s individual profile shall not be taken into consideration because there must be a difference between one who is wholeheartedly believing in Islam and one who is just accepting it. God, the Exalted, says to those who claim to be believing Muslims: “Say, We submit; and faith has not yet entered into your hearts.”

Reciting the Two Testimonies (Shahaadatayn) makes a person Muslim; he enters the pale of Islam by reciting them. That is to say, the two testimonies have something to do with the aspects of his worldly, legal and social life. One who converts to Islam enjoys certain rights which a non-Muslim does not. However, being entitled to Paradise is something beyond this. That is to say, in order for a person to enter Paradise, not only submission to God is necessary but hearty belief and good deeds are also required. That is to say practical backing is essential for gaining divine reward.

Conclusively, if a person is not up to the standards and criteria for going to Paradise as mentioned in the Quran, mere qualification by the term Shia or Islam would not save him from divine punishment or entering Hell.

In conclusion, we must say that man’s deeds have been considered to be the criterion for entering Paradise. Nominal Shi’ism or Islamic identifications do not save a person from Hell fire. Hence, based on Quranic verses and sayings from the Infallible Imams, peace be upon them, Muslims and Shias who do not act upon God’s injunctions and who do not stay away from prohibitions and have not fulfilled His commands will be deprived of divine mercy and blessings and will be subjected to punishment in Hell. When it comes to whether the punishments are eternal or not or what the nature of the rewards and punishments is and how intercession works, all of these should be discussed in their appropriate place.

At the end, it should be noted that our answer to the question does not mean that being Shia has no role in one’s entering the Paradise and that whoever does good deeds, be he a non-Shia, will be entitled to Paradise. Because we believe that thought and good deeds are both important and they are like two wings with which an individual flies to eternal felicity and happiness.[1]

Paradise is an indisputable vow of Allah (swt).[2] The question is, who are those who will go to paradise? Considering the collection of verses on this matter, the answer is[3] meaning that there is one condition and that is being a “Mumin” [believer]. Another question comes to mind; who are the believers and what are their traits? Is it enough to recite the Shahaadatayn to be a believer?[4] Those who go to heaven are those who have completely obeyed Allah (swt) and His messenger (pbuh). How is one to obey them? Once again, taking into consideration the verses on this issue, the things that Allah (swt) and His messenger want from us can be summed up into two categories: beliefs and actions.[5] (Indeed those who have faith and do righteous deeds, for them will be gardens with streams running in them).

– As long as we don’t obey the prophet (pbuh), we aren’t considered obedient.

– Obedience is both in action and in belief

– Obeying the prophet (pbuh) in some of what he has asked us to do isn’t considered true complete obedience!

What is the outcome of faith and good deeds?

According to the Quran, the fruit of these two is “taqwa” (piety), and those who are pious will enter paradise for sure:[6]

Conclusion of what was said till now: The essence of salvation is taqwa which means to completely obey all of Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh) commands.

Although taqwa has different degrees, the least needed to possess it is to perform all wajib duties and refrain from all sins. So a prerequisite to taqwa would be to learn about what things are wajib and what things are forbidden and haram in Islam so that we can perform and refrain from them respectfully.

One of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands is to know and obey his true successors (imams).[7] Clearly, anyone who doesn’t believe in them verbally, in the heart and in his/her actions, cannot be considered a true believer and righteous person and lacks taqwa, because he hasn’t obeyed the prophet (pbuh) in one of the most important things he has asked us to do.

Significant Point: According to verse 59 of surah Nisa, obeying “those vested with authority” is obligatory, to the extent that obeying them has been considered equal to obeying Allah (swt) and their disobedience, His disobedience. What needs to be mentioned here is that they must be infallible, making them invulnerable to any form of sin and even mistake. It isn’t true to say that anyone who becomes ruler of the Muslim nation, falls under the category of “those vested with authority”, because if those vested with authority weren’t to be infallible, there would always be chances of their commands not being in correspondence with Allah’s (swt) and His messenger’s (pbuh), hence the discrepancy between the order of obeying Allah (swt) and obeying those vested with authority [for instance, if the imams were mistakenly to say something isn’t mandatory, while Allah (swt) says it is, there is clear contradiction between saying both Allah (swt) and they have to be obeyed; it is impossible!].
Now that we have spoken about how believing in the imams plays a role in our salvation [which was that since it is obedience of one of the prophet’s (pbuh) most important commands, it is part of taqwa], it is good to speak a bit about what role the imams play in the salvation of people and society and in whether one will go to heaven or hell.[8]

The impact of believing in the imam on one’s salvation: Keeping in mind what was said above, here we will speak of the concept of salvation and success; what it is in this world and the next and the role belief in the imam plays in bringing salvation.

  1. a) The concept of salvation: Each and every person has his/her own perception of salvation and happiness, but it seems this variety in views isn’t to the benefit of those who are in pursuit of the truth. So it’s better to seek the true meaning from that who is to divide all people into the two groups of those who have reached salvation and those who don’t and are at loss.
    When Allah (swt) wants to describe one of His successful servants, Prophet Ibrahim (pbuh), this is how He does it:[9] (And verily, Ibrahim was a true follower Of Nuh; He came towards his Creator and Nurturer With a pure heart). He also quotes him saying:

“Do not disgrace me on the day that they will be resurrected; the day when neither wealth nor children will avail; except him who comes to Allah with a pure heart”. [10]

As you can see, a pure heart has been emphasized in these verses. What can be deduced is that one reaches salvation when he/she lives in a way that when the time to part this world and meet Allah (swt) arrives, he/she has a pure heart.
What is interesting is that after verse 89 of surah Shu’ara [that says “except him who comes to Allah (swt) with a pure heart], the verse comes, which means: “[And on the Day of Judgement] Paradise is drawn near to the muttaqin or pious people”. The message this verse conveys is that the outcome of having a pure heart is to have taqwa, and that paradise is the reward of those who bear taqwa.

Conclusion: Happiness and salvation are contingent upon having a pure heart, and a sign if having it is taqwa. The person who has truly reached salvation is one who possesses a pure heart.

  1. b) The role believing in an imam plays in one reaching salvation: Many Sunni and Shia scholars have narrated the following hadith; a portion of it will be narrated here:

The prophet (pbuh) told Ali (as): “Prophet Musa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-one sects in which only one of those sects was delivered while all the others would go to Hell; Prophet Isa’s (pbuh) nation was split into seventy-two groups in which only one of them was delivered and the rest all companions of the Hellfire; my nation will also be split into seventy-three groups in which only one of them will be delivered, while the rest will all go to Hell. Imam Ali (as) asked: “O Messenger of Allah (swt)! Which of them is to be delivered?” He answered: “Those who go your way and the way of your followers and embrace it.”[11]

Baridah Aslami [whom the Sunnis believe to be one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions] quotes the prophet (pbuh) saying that what is meant by “the straight path” in surah Fatihah that says “guide us to the straight path” is Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his progeny.[12]

The prophet (pbuh) has said: “Whoever wishes to swiftly pass “the bridge of sirat” [on the Day of Judgment] like a typhoon and enter paradise without any reckoning, has to accept my friend, successor, companion and the one to take my place after me over my progeny, Ali ibn Abi Taleb.” If anyone desires to go to Hell, then he should: “disregard his [Ali’s (as)] authority, for by my lord’s glory and magnificence, he [Ali (as)] is the only door to Allah (swt) and the straight path and the one whose authority and imamate will be asked of on the Day of Judgment [from the rest of the people].”[13]

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

Index: Jannatul Firdaus (Garden of Paradise) is the paradise which God has made of gold and silver, answer 338.

Index: Barzakh / Everyone Shall Enter the Hell, answer 326.

Index: Rest, Rain and Snow in the Heaven, answer 325.

[1] . Hujraat, 14.

[2]  . “مثل الجنة التی وعد المتقون” Muhammad: 47.

[3] . Tawbah: 72.

[4] . Nisa’:13.

[5] . Buruj:11.

[6] . Ale-Imran:15.

[7] . Nisa’:59; Shura:23; Al-Mustadrak alal-Sahihain, vol. 3, pg. 109.

[8] . Of course, the subject of the need of people for an imam is one that calls for an extensive discussion, in which isn’t the theme of this article.

[9] . Saffat:83-84.

[10] . Shu’ara:87-89.

[11] . Asqalani, Al-Isabah fi Tamyeezil-Sahabah, vol. 2, pg. 174.

[12] . Sayyid Shahabuddin Shafe’I, Rashfatul-Sadi, pg. 25; Sheikh Salman Hanafi, Yanabi’ul-Mawaddah, pg. 114.

[13] . Haskani, Shawahidul-Tanzil, vol. 1, pp. 51 and 90.


The differences and similarities between Shia and Sunni

Question 187: What is the difference and similarities between (Shia and Sunni) the Ahlul Sunnah and Ahlulbayt (as) followers?

Answer 187: The discussion concerning such a topic is very extensive and this answer cannot incorporate all the details. We shall briefly mention, in two stages (e.g. beliefs and laws), those of the Shiite views which are opposed by Sunnis or a group of them:

  1. A) Beliefs and Tenets of Shiite Religion:
  2. Although Tawhid (oneness of God) is a principle common between the Shiite and Sunnit schools of thought, Shia believes that God’s attributes are the same as His Essence.
  3. According to Shia, God cannot be seen in this world nor can He be seen in the Hereafter.
  4. Unlike the Sunnis, Shia holds that it is not permissible on God’s part to punish an obedient and give rewards to a sinner.
  5. Shia does not believe in determinism and compulsion.
  6. The most important Shiite belief is the belief in Imamat. Shia holds that Imamat is a part of the fundamentals of faith and the successor of the Prophet must be inerrant and infallible and it is precisely because of infallibility, which is known by none other than God, that the imam (leader) after the Prophet should be appointed by God and that the Islamic governments should lead to Wilayah.

  7. Obeying an oppressive and unjust sovereign is not permissible according to Shia.
  8. Shia believes that Ahlulbayt in verse 33 of Chapter al-Ahzab refers to Fatima (daughter of the Holy Prophet (pbuh)) and the pure Imams (a.s.).
  9. Shia is of the view that the prophets are infallible. They do not commit any sin, whether capital or minor.
  10. Bada, Raj’at (return) and intercession are also some of the Shiite beliefs.
  11. Shia does not consider all the companions of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) as just. There were different types of people amongst the companions. Some were just and some were hypocrites. Their fatwa (verdict) are not authoritative and valid for anyone.
  12. B) Laws:
  13. Taqiyah (dissimulation) is permissible according to Shia.
  14. Mut’ah (Fixed-time marriage) is permissible according to Shiite viewpoint.
  15. The gate of Ijtihad is open according to Shia.
  16. Shia does not accept ta’sib and awl in inheritance.

Note: The principle of ‘awl (proportionate reduction) is applied by Sunni jurists when the estate of the deceased is ‘oversubscribed’ by Quranic heirs. Ta’sib is applied by Sunni jurisprudence to give priority to male agnates as heirs, and this results in many mathematical complexities in their system of inheritance. The only really significant difference between the Shi’ah and Sunni schools of jurisprudence in the laws of inheritance concerns the principles of “‘awl” and “ta’sib”. The Imamiyah jurisprudents have proved by means of ahadith from the Ahlu ‘l-bayt (a.s.) that there is no ‘awl or ta’sib in the matter of inheritance. This was also the opinion held by the great companions of the Holy Prophet. The well-known statement of Ibn ‘Abbas in which he speaks against ‘awl and ta’sib can be taken as authoritative. There are also other grounds of proof for negating these two principles.[1]

  1. According to Shia, combining between two prayers is permissible.
  2. “Hayya ‘ala Khayril ‘Amal” (Hasten to the best acts) is a part of the Adhan.
  3. It is permissible to visit the Infallible Imams’ graves (we believe that not only visiting graves is not shirk (idolatrous) but it is very much a monotheistic act and there is a lot of reward in it.).

For further explanation, you can refer to some books written in this regard including: Al-Jawame’ wal-Fawareq bayn al-Sunnah wa al-Shia by Muhammad Jawad Mughniyah; Ma’a al-Shia al-Imamiyah fi Aqaedehim, by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani, Islamic Beliefs in the Light of the School of Ahlalbayt by Ayatollah Ja’far Subhani.[2]

[1] . For further information in this regards, please refer to: Khums: Rules concerning Awl and Ta’sib, answer 324.

[2] . Adopted from IQ (with a few changes has been made on).


Completeness and Immunity of the Holy Quran to Distortion according to Shia

Question 294: As Salam O Alaikum, What are the views of classical Shia scholars like Shaykh Mufeed, Shaykh Tusi, Baqir Majlisi, Mulla Nouri Tabrisi & Al Ayyashi on the Completeness and Immunity of the Holy Quran to Distortion? Do we carry the same Qur’an as it was revealed or additions and depletions have been made to it, what are the views of the above mentioned scholars on it?? (Save the views of Shaykh Sudooq)


Answer 294: According to Sheikh Sadouq and Mufid (ra), the Quran that is in our hand is the holy Quran has been sent down to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by Allah, the Almighty. Those who attribute the alternation, any addition to us (Shia) are a liar.[1]

Allamah Muhammad Hussein Tabatabai says under verse 9 of Surah Al-Hijr [«انا نحن نزلنا الذكر و انا له لحافظون»] the features which have been mentioned for the Quran such as eloquence, expressiveness, coherence and the miraculous nature of the Quranic verses entirely exist in the present Quran which we have possession of. He has concluded that this Quran is the very same Quran which was known during the Apostle of God (peace and blessing of Allah be upon him). “We have, without doubt, sent down the Message; and We will assuredly guard it (from corruption)”.[2]

We would like to draw your attention to two Shia and Sunni hadiths regarding this issue:

1- Sufyan ibn Samt narrates that he asked Imam Sadeq (as) about the differences in recitation of the Quran. He said to recite the Quran as we have been taught [and like everyone else].[3]

2- Ibn Masoud, one of the prophet’s (pbuh) companions says: “I have heard the Quran being recited from different reciters and [despite their differences] they were all similar and of the same meaning. Therefore, refrain from disputing about this issue with each other. Truly, some of the differences that can be found are like when we use different words like “هلم” “تعال”and “اقبل” with the same meaning [they all convey the same meaning].[4]
Therefore, we must say that according to most Islamic scholars, no verses have been added to the Quran nor omitted, and if sometimes some individuals from either sect believe that some alteration has occurred, it in no way affects the authenticity of the Quran in its entirety and the belief can’t be related to the school of thought as a whole.

Allamah Tabarsi (ra), the great interpreter of the holy Quran said: No verses have been added to the Quran nor omitted. In Majma al-Bayan he also said under the verse 9 of Surah Al-Hijr: Although, a group of Imamiyyah and Jama’at of Hashviyyah[5] said that the holy Quran has been altered in a way that some verses have been added or omitted, but the correct opinion of Imamiyyah is against this idea. Furthermore, Sayyid Murtadha (ra) supported the idea that no verses have been added nor omitted.[6]

But, according to Sheikh Mirza Hussain bin Muhammad Taqi bin Ali Muhammad Noori Tabarsi known as Muhaddith Noori and haji Norri, one of the Shia Muhaddith (refers to a specialist who intensely knows and narrates hadith) in 14th century, no verses of the holy Quran have been added but a few verses have been omitted before the collection of the holy Quran due to some reasons. In this regards, he wrote a book called Faslul Khitab that many Shia and Sunni scholars protested against this book. As a result, Mirza Hussain Noori severely regretted writing the book.[7]

Q: How can we prove that the Holy Quran has not been distorted and altered throughout the centuries?

A: First of all we should know that t he distortion of Religious texts and scriptures has been common among most religions and one of the main reasons new prophets were sent to people was to provide a corrective for the previous altered religions.[8]  But Islam, as the Seal of Religions, has been protected from any potential distortion and falsification.

This question can be answered in different ways depending on the individual who has posed the question. It can be answered from a Muslim perspective (using Quranic verses and traditions) and a non-Muslim one (using intellectual and logical argumentation and reasoning). Here we will answer the question from a non-Muslim perspective and won’t touch on the many Quranic verses and traditions from the infallibles that clearly prove its immunity.

First: The Quran’s Eejaz (Miracle) 

Allameh Tabatabei argues that the Quran cannot have undergone distortion due to its I’jaz (its miraculousness).  In this respect he says: “It is a historical fact that 14 centuries ago a Prophet named Muhammad arose and brought a book named the Quran that was his miracle for all times.  The Quran was revealed with certain qualities that made it significant among other books and challenged all Arabs to bring anything like it.  It is also historically certain that none of the prophet’s adversaries were able to bring a chapter, even the size of the smallest chapters, that would resemble the Quran with its special qualities.

The current Quran that we have still has those qualities like its beautiful rhythm and eloquence, the harmony of the verses, prophecies of future events, etc.  In other words this Quran has the features of the Quran that was revealed 14 centuries ago and not one person has been able to bring a chapter similar to its chapters.  This proves that it has not been distorted or falsified for if it was, it would not have maintained the same qualities.[9]

There is no doubt that if it was possible to bring even one chapter similar to the Quranic chapters the disbelievers that were contemporary with the prophet and were and are known to be the most learned in Arabic literature would have done so, because not only did the disbelievers use every single method to defeat Islam and the Prophet but the Quran itself had challenged them to do so.  This way they could defeat the prophet and deny his prophethood so much easier without going through the trouble of going to war with him.  Obviously they tried their best but it was useless, for Allah says in the Quran: “Say,” Should all humans and jinn rally to bring the like of this Qur’an, they will not bring the like of it, even if they assisted one another.”[10]

Another challenge that the Quran has made is that no contradictions can be found in the various verses of the Quran.  In this regard Allah says: “Do they not ponder about the Qur’an? Had it been from other than Allah, Surely they would have found therein so many contradictions”.[11]  There are no contradictions among the Quranic verses we read today.[12]

Also, the current Quran also has all the other qualities that the Quran had 14 centuries ago like prophets’ stories, marvelous and valuable truths, prophecies, etc.[13]

Second Reason:

This reason is made up of several premises:

1- A revealed religion is a set of beliefs and rules that are revealed to a prophet by God for the guidance of the people.

2- All religions (except for the Seal of Religions), depending on the needs of their time, have partially brought some of the beliefs and rules of the Complete Religion for the people of their time .

3- The reason for having many religions, in addition to bringing new rules from the complete religion, is so that previous distorted ones can be corrected.

4- In order for the last prophet to rise and call the people to the Seal of Religions; firstly, the last religion must be utterly comprehensive leaving out no paths that would lead one to God, and secondly, the last religion must be protected from all forms of distortion. If any of these two elements are lacked in a religion, the mind will not accept it to be the seal of religions.

In this light one can conclude that “the Seal of Religions is immune to distortion”[14], and this means that the book of this religion cannot be altered as well, because the book of a religion consists of most of its rulings and teachings and protecting a religion from distortion without protecting its book makes no sense.[15]

So till here what was proven is that the book of the Seal of Religions will be protected from change, now we will combine this fact with the two other statements (first: The Quran is the Book of Islam, second: Islam is the Seal of Religions) to conclude that the Quran has never been altered or distorted.[16]

Once we accept that Prophet Muhammad was the Seal of Prophets and that his religion was the last religion sent down to humankind until the end of the world we must admit that Allah will always protect Islam and keep it from being changed.  How can the distortion of the Quran be consistent with the fact that Islam will stay alive till the end of the world?

Third Reason:

Knowing that the Quran meant everything to Muslims throughout time and that they used it as their constitutional law and the rules by which they lived and worshipped Allah, there was no period of history wherein the Quran could have been altered without other noticing.

The Quran was the book that early Muslims would recite in their prayers, mosques, houses and wars when confronting the unbelievers to prove that Islam was the true religion to live by.  Islamic history shows that in some cases men would set teaching their brides the Quran as their “Mehr” (dowry).

Generally speaking at that time the only book which was spoken about and so many events revolved around was the Quran.  Children would learn it in the early years of their lives and anyone who intended to learn about the new religion was taught the Quran.  Therefore there was no chance for the Quran to be changed.[17]

Fourth Reason:

The Quran we have today is the same one that was compiled during the prophet’s time,[18]  and even if anyone does not accept this he must know that even those who have different opinions regarding the current order of the chapters and other detailed issues agree that not even one word was added or taken away from the Quran; because Muslims strived to memorize and learn the Quran to the extent that the social status of individuals was somewhat determined by how much Quran they knew by heart.

There were so many Muslims which memorized the Quran that history says that 400 of them died as a result of only one war which took place at the time of Abu Bakr’s reign. [19]

In another war that took place at the time of the prophet and occurred in a village not far from Medina named “Bi’r Ma’unah” history recounts that 70 Muslims who knew the Quran by heart were martyred.[20]

The Quran was not a forgotten book that lied on Muslims’ bookshelves without anyone reading and reciting it, hence it was not possible for anyone to alter it and it that case it would have been ensued by extreme opposition by the Muslim nation.

Memorizing the Quran has always been seen as a great form of worship and tradition among Muslims.  Even after the Quran was compiled, transcribed by hand in the form of a book and later on by print which lead to it being the most sold book in all Muslim countries, memorizing it still meant a lot to Muslims, an inevitable result being that memorizers of the Quran can be found in almost every city and town.

Today there are special schools in Muslim countries with different names like “Madreseto Tahfizel  Quranal Karim” or “Jameatol Quran” that have been established for the memorization of the Quran.  In some cases the teachers are small children who have just finished memorizing the Quran themselves.[21]

Reports show that approximately one million and five hundred thousand citizens of Pakistan know the Quran  by heart![22] One of the requirements to enter the Islamic University of Al-Azhar in Egypt is to have memorized the entire Quran.  After going through a test applicants must score 20 out of 40 to attend classes at Al-Azhar![23]

In brief, memorizing the Quran is a tradition established by the prophet in his ahadith.  Keeping in mind what was said, there is no possibility that the Quran could have undergone any change through the course of 14 centuries.

Fifth Reason:

There were numerous writers which the prophet had assigned to write the divine revelations that were sent down to him by Allah.  Historians have mentioned up to 43 Muslims[24] as the writers of the Quran, although Imam Ali and Zeyd Ibn Thabet would accompany the prophet more than others in this task.[25]

The question is how can a book with so many writers be altered?


Since the advent of Islam all of the imams have encouraged Muslims to recite, ponder and act upon the Quran at hand[26], this comes to show that it was certain it hadn’t undergone any change, especially in the first few centuries of Islam.

In the Nahjul-Balaghah we find proof for such a claim.  In sermon 133 we read: “The Book of Allah is among you. It speaks and its tongue does not falter. It is a house whose pillars do not fall down, and a power whose supporters are never routed.”[27]

In serman 176 Imam Ali says: “And know that this Qur’an is an adviser who never deceives, a leader who never misleads and a narrator who never speaks a lie.[28] No one will sit beside this Qur’an but that when he rises he will achieve one addition or one diminution-addition in his guidance or elimination in his (spiritual) blindness.”![29]

If the Quran had been changed or altered it would not make sense for the imams to invite the people to the current Quran.  If it had been altered it would not have been introduced as a light that helps distinguish between true and false or as Allah’s steady and firm rope which we all must hold on to.[30]

Taking these six arguments into consideration, no room should be left for any doubt about the Quran being immune to any form of distortion and falsification[31].

[1] . Eʿteqādātal-Emāmīya by Shaykh Saduq • Tashih al-I’tiqad by Shaykh Mufid, Vol. 1, Pg. 84, chapter 33.

[2] . [15:9]; For further information, see: Allamah Tabatabai, Tafsir Al-Mizan, vol.12, pg.104 and pg.106 and pg.138.

[3] . Muhammad ibn Yaqub Kuleini, Al-Kafi, vol.2, pg. 631, hadith 15.

[4] . Beyhaqi, Sunan Kubra, vol.2, pg.385.

[5] . Hashviyyah is a group that believe that Bani Umayyah is their Imam. They don’t consider the children of the holy Prophet (pbuh) as Imam; For further information, refer to: Sheikh Mufid, al-Ershad, Qom, Publication of Worldwide Congress of Sheikh Mufid, 1413 A.H, Vol. 2, Pg. 22; Ayatollah Sobhani, Sheikh Jaafar, Buhuth fee al-Milal wa al-Nihal, Al-Nashr al-Islami Institution, Al-Imam Al-Sadiq (as) Institution, Vol. 1, Pg. 124.

[6] . Ibid.

[7] . Al-Dariat, Vol. 16, Pg. 231.

[8] See: Payame Quran,‌ Makarem Shirazi.

[9] See: Al-Mizan, vol. 12, pp 150-155 and 157.

[10] Isra:88.

[11] Nisa:86.

[12] For further information, see: Mabaniye Kalamiye Ejtehad, Hadavi Tehrani, Mahdi, pp. 54-55.

[13] See: Translation of Al-Mizan, vol. 12, pp. 150-154.

[14] Hadavi Tehrani, Mabaniye Kalamiye Ejtehad, pg. 67.

[15] Ibid.

[16] Ibid.

[17] Tafisir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pg. 22.

[18] Of course, there are different viewpoints on the compilation of the Quran.

[19] Muntakhab Kanzul-Ummal as quoted by Al-Bayan fi Tafsiril-Quran, pg. 260.

[20] Safinatul-Bihar, vol. 1, pg. 57.

[21] In this regard, the memories and memoirs of Dr. Mohammad Hosein Tabatabai who is famous for being the child who memorized the entire Quran and earned a PhD are worth reading.

[22] Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pg.24. Of course, these statistics belong to years back and naturally, the number of those who have memorized the Quran is higher than this number in that country.

[23] Ibid, as quoted by the Encyclopedia of Farid Wujdi.

[24] Historians have recorded between 14 to 43 individuals.

[25] Zanjani, Abu Abdillah, Tarikhul-Quran, pg.24.

[26] Meaning that when one observes the sayings of the imams, they are all encouraging the Muslims to recite and ponder the verses of the Quran at hand.

[27] وَ كِتَابُ اللَّهِ بَيْنَ أَظْهُرِكُمْ نَاطِقٌ لَا يَعْيَى لِسَانُهُ وَ بَيْتٌ لَا تُهْدَمُ أَرْكَانُهُ وَ عِزٌّ لَا تُهْزَمُ أَعْوَانُه‏.

[28] اعْلَمُوا أَنَّ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ هُوَ النَّاصِحُ الَّذِي لَا يَغُشُّ وَ الْهَادِي الَّذِي لَا يُضِلُّ .

[29] وَ مَا جَالَسَ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ أَحَدٌ إِلَّا قَامَ عَنْهُ بِزِيَادَةٍ أَوْ نُقْصَانٍ زِيَادَةٍ فِي هُدًى وَ نُقْصَانٍ مِنْ عَمًى.

[30] See: Tafsir Nemouneh, vol. 11, pp. 24-26.

[31] . Adopted from answer 453 IQ.


Saying Ameen during prayer invalidate the prayer

Question 017: How do I explain to my Muslim brothers that responding loudly after the Sheikh, during prayers is not part of Islam?
Answer 017: As for the Islamic laws, such as prayer, khums, zakat and etc., can only be determined by the divine legislator (share’: i.e. the acts of worship in which the contents (of prayer and etc.) are determined by the Holy Quran and traditions from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) and his household) which is called Ahkam Tauqifi, one who even has deep knowledge about Islam is unable to add anything other than what has been ordered by the divine legislator.

In prayer, one must not recite anything other than ‘ḏikr’; otherwise the prayer would become void. Just as the Shia have obtained all the rest of their teachings through the instructions and commandments of the Prophet and his household (pbuth), in this matter too they act in accordance to their instructions.

Based upon narrations, the Ahlul Bayt (pbuth) have told us that ‘saying ‘Ameen’ after reciting sūrah ‘al-Hamd’ is not part of the prayer, hence it is not permissible to say it’. It is narrated from Imam Sadiq (pbuh): ‘Whenever you are praying in congregation, and the leader of the congregation finishes reciting ‘Al-Hamd’, do not say ‘Ameen’, say instead ‘Alḥamdulillāh rabbi al-ʿālamīn’. [1]

The maraji’ have given the following fatwa based on the mentioned narration: ‘Of the acts which invalidate the prayer; is saying ‘Ameen’ after reciting ‘al-Hamd’, although if someone says it mistakenly or out of ‘taqīyah’ (dissimulation), the prayer is not void’. [2]

Finally, it is necessary to mention that according to Shīʿah Islamic law, it is not actually compulsory to say ‘Alḥamdulillāh rabbi al-ʿālamīn’ after ‘al-Hamd’; it is just mustahabb (recommended) . However, most Sunni schools of thought consider it an obligatory part of prayer, hence the onus is upon them to verify their claim through the Qur’ān and Prophetic Traditions.

Note: The traditions concerning the saying of Āmīn in prayer are of two types:

1) Traditions in which the chain of narrators includes Abu-Hurayrahh; e.g. “It is narrated from the Prophet (saws) that he said, ‘When the Congregation leader recites ‘walāḍ ḍāllīn’, you should say ‘Ameen’ because the angels [also] say ‘Āmīn’. Therefore every person who says Āmīn alongside with the angels will have all of his past sins forgiven.’”[3]

This group of traditions cannot be trusted due to the fact that the chain of narrators includes Abu Hurayrahh.[4]
Alī (as) says the following about Abu Hurayrah, “The most dishonest person in relation [to attributing lies] to the Prophet (saw) is Abu Hurayrah”[5] (i.e. he fabricated many traditions and attributed them to the Prophet (saw)).

2) Traditions in which the following people are included in the chain of narrators (of which none meet the criterion for being acceptable in terms of ‘hadīth’ narration): Ḥamīd ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī Laylī, Ibn ‘adī, ‘Abd al-Jabbar bin wa’il, Suhayl ibn Abī Suhayl, ‘ala’ ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān, and Talha ibn ‘Umar. Ḥamīd ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān ibn Abī Lalī possessed a weak memory and is considered ‘weak’ (in terms of narrating Hadīth), Ibn ‘adī is an unknown figure (majhul), ‘Abd al-Jabbār bin Waa’il cannot narrate from his father since his father died six months before he was born (in this respect the tradition is weak). Regarding Suhayl ibn Abī Suhayl and ‘Ala’ ibn ‘Abd al-Raḥmān, Abu Haatam says, “Their narrations are recorded (written down), however they bare no authority and Talha ibn ‘Umar is not usable (for narrating hadith), his traditions are extremely weak.”[6]

With the existence of such weak and unreliable narrators in the chain of narrations, these narrations have no credibility and cannot be trusted.

Some [scholars] have tried to justify saying Āmīn in prayer with the following explanation: “[We] say Āmīn because the phrase ‘Ihdinā ṣ-ṣirāṭ al-mustaqīm’ is a du‘a (supplication).”

In reply to this, it must be stated that this phrase only becomes a supplication if it is recited with the intention of supplicating, however those reciting it intend for it to be a part of the prayers and the Quran recited therein, not as a supplication.
Furthermore, if it were permissible to recite every supplicatory phrase for example ‘rabbanā aghfir lanā wa qinā ‘adhāba al-nār’ with the intention of supplicating, then it should also be permissible to recite Āmīn after every supplication, yet no one [of the scholars] holds this view.[7]

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

Index: Number of things which invalidate the prayer, answer 547.

[1] Tusi, Muhammad bin al-Hasan, al-Tahdhib, vol. 2, pg. 74.

[2] Tawdih al-Masa’il (annotated by Imam Khomeini), vol. 1, pg. 617. This ruling is agreed upon by all the respected jurists.

[3] . Baydawi, Naasir al-Din Abu al-Khayr Abdullah ibn Umar, Anwaar al-Tanzil wa Asraar al-Ta’wil, vol. 1, p. 32, Ihyaa’ al-Turaath al-Arabi Press, Beirut, 1418 AH.

[4] . Abu Hurayrah Abd al-Rahmaan ibn Sakhr al-Azudi (22 BH-59 AH): eight hundred Sahaabis and Taabi’is have narrated from him. During his rule, Umar appointed him as governor of Bahrain, but due to his weakness in character and leniency, he was dismissed from this responsibility. He spent most of his life in Medinah. Taqiyuddin Sabki has a booklet entitled “Fataawaa Abi Hurayrah”, and Abd al-Husayn Sharafuddin has a book entitled “Abu Hurayrah” on him. (Al-A’laam 4/80, 81). Hujjati, Asbaab al-Nuzul, p. 216.

[5] . See: Ibn Abi al-Hadid Mu’tazili, ‘Izz al-Din Abu Hamed, Sharh Nahjul-Balaghah, vol. 4, p. 68, Library of Ayatullah Mar’ashi Najafi, 1956, first edition.

[6] . See: Sultani, Abd al-Amir, Hukm al-Ta’min fi al-Salah, Ahlul Bayt World Assembly, second edition.

[7] . See: Sabzawari, Ali Mu’min Qummi, Jaami’ al-Khilaaf wa al-Wifaaq bayn al-Imaamiyyah wa bayn A’immat al-Hijaaz wa al-Iraaq, Zamineh Saazane Zuhure Imam Zamaan Press, 1421 AH, first edition, Qum.