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Applying Henna or cream before Wudu

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

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

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Wudu: Permissibility of touching the script of the holy Quran

Question 128: I know that one must perform Wudhu before you touch the Qur’an. What is the proper etiquette for handling the Qur’an and does it apply to the translations as well or just Qur’an in Arabic?

Answer 128: It is haraam to touch the script of the holy Qur’an with any part of one’s body, without performing Wudhu. There is no harm in touching the translation of the holy Qur’an, in any language, without Wudhu.

It is haraam, as an obligatory precaution, to touch the Names of Allah (SWT), without Wudhu, in whichever language it may have been translated. It is also haraam to touch, without Wudhu, the blessed names of the Holy Prophets of Islam, the Holy Imams and Hazrat Fatima Zahra (peace be upon them).[1] Read More

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Direction of Qibla: Offering prayers on a plane

Question 327: If someone is traveling on a plane & time of prayer falls within his/her travel time, what will be the direction of Qibla he/she should turn his/her face for salat? According to me, usually Qibla will be downwards (but not east, west, north or south) when you are on a flight….so do you know what is the ruling of major marja-e-keram about this? How offering prayers on a plane should be toward Qibla?

Answer 327: Under no circumstances or conditions is it permissible to discard Salah, as it is wajib. Salah must be offered in any possible situation. If possible, a person who is in flight, space, or any other means of travel should try to settle in a fixed location using the available means in order to complete salah. If a person cannot do that, then they should offer their salah in any way possible, even if they can only use motions. Read More

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Makeup after wudu doesn’t void prayer

Question 157: Salaam to everyone. I have a question and I hope someone can shed some light or answer my question. Recently my teenage daughter asked me “mum if someone did their ablution before They go college and read the salah there and then put on muscara after their ablution would that salah be void or would it be accepted”? Now I was kind of confused as to what answer do I give. Because as the ablution was done with no mascara on but then the salah would be read WITH muscara on. Please, guys would appreciate the answer. Jzk to all.

Answer 157: According to maraja’, her wudu and prayer are treated as valid as it is not among those unclean things which invalidate wudu (ablution)[1]. However, for a matter of precaution, she should not perform her prayer in a place, where non-mahrams can see her makeup, but it doesn’t void her prayers.

The wudu is accepted because the mascara was applied after. There is not really a problem with the salah being offered with the mascara as its the ablation that is important and the wudu was accepted. What I would focus on next is what your marje says about makeup. Sayyid Sistani (ha) says it is fine to wear khol/mascara as long as it’s not done with the intention to attract attention and if it does then to remove it.[2]

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

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

Index: Doubts during prayer whether wudu was performed or not, answer 036.

Index: Wiping performed on socks invalidates Wudu, answer 037.

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

Index: Making Wudu when you are going to bed, answer 032.

Index: Philosophy of Hijab during prayer, answer 020.

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

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

The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Q&A, Wudhu.

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael of maraja’ (annotated by Imam Khomeini), Vol. 1, Pg. 188.

[2] . Refer to: http://www.sistani.org/english/qa/01265/

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Spiritual and Material Beauty and the Light of Faith

Question 245: There are hadith that state that you can recognize a mumin by characteristics of his face. Are these physical characteristics or more of the metaphysical realm that only one on the same level could recognize? I have heard that praying fajr prayer on time causes a light/glow to emit from one’s face. Is this referring to the energetic attraction we feel towards others as their spirit uplifts ours?

Answer 245: According to Islam, beauty is divided into two divisions: Spiritual and material. Getting the spiritual beauty has been more emphasized by Islam, though the material beauty has also been recommended.

An important thing that should be taken into consideration is that the spiritual beauty can be accessible by spiritual affairs like prayers and the material beauty would be available by some material affairs.

The following are some recommendations our Infallibles (pbuth) have suggested us to observe:

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “The beauty of a man can be seen in his patience, because, the patience gives our soul tranquility by which our ethics and behavior would become beautiful and brilliant if it is faced with afflictions and difficulties.”[1]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “The beauty of a believer is his\her self-restraint, virtue and piety.”[2]

– The Holy Prophet of Islam (saws) has said, “Whomever offers Salatul Tahajjod, his\her face would become brilliant in the day.”[3]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “Night prayer (salatul tahajjod) makes the face brilliant.”[4]

– Imam Sadiq (as) has said, “The night prayer can make our face look bright.”[5]

– Imam Sadiq (as) has said, “The repetition of performing wudu, upon the last wudu is like the light (noor) upon light.”[6]

– Imam Ali (as) has said, “If you sleep less at night and worship Allah (swt) the Almighty during the night, your face would become brilliant.”[7]

– The Imam (as) has also said, “The believers brilliant face is because of the kindness that Allah (swt) has given him. If you seek Allahs (swt) goodness, you have to worship Him by doing the righteous deeds and avoiding forbidden acts.”[8]

Note: The Holy Qur’an says, “Allah is the light of the heavens and the earth. The example of His light is like a niche within which is a lamp, the lamp is within glass, the glass as if it were a pearly [white] star lit from [the oil of] a blessed olive tree, neither of the east nor of the west, whose oil would almost glow even if untouched by fire. Light upon light. Allah guides to His light to whom He wills. And Allah presents examples for the people, and Allah is knowing of all things.”[9]

There is a special light that Allah (swt) gives believers in order to become brilliant if they do the righteous deeds. This light is the light of knowledge. The method in which we can get such divine light, is to do what Allah (swt), the Almighty bids us and avoid of what Allah (swt) forbids us.[10]

When Muslims want to describe the spiritual characteristics of a believer, they say we see the light of faith in his face. According to this definition, it doesn’t matter which color your skin is, if you are white or black, red or yellow, if you act based on the above recommendations, your face would get the light of faith.

This is not physical light that we can see easily. This is the light of knowledge that anyone with any skin color can have, if given by Allah (swt), the Almighty. Anyone, even those who have the lowest level of faith, can recognize it.

As you know, Hazrat Adam and the Holy Prophet (pbuth) had tawny skin. Luqman Hakeem from Ethiopia was a black man and Imam Jawad (as) had dark-colored skin, however all people became captivated when they saw them. It’s because of the light of faith.

Let’s mention some recommendations of Practical Irfan that Imam Ali (as) has suggested us to observe:

– Imam Ali (as) explained the concept of spiritual wayfaring with such words, “The true arif is the one who has enlivened his intellect and who has mortified his desires, till the point where his coarseness has become broken and his severity has been softened. A luminous light is lit for him which illuminates the path towards God for him and under its guidance he goes forward…”[11]

– Imam Ali (as) has also said, “O’ creatures of Allah! The most of Allah is he whom Allah has given power (to act) against his passions, so that his inner side is (submerged in) grief and the outer side is covered with fear. The lamp of guidance is burning in his heart. He has provided provisions for the day that is to befall him.”[12]

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

Index: The night prayer or Salat al-Layl (Tahajjud, Night Prayer), answer 234.

Index: Whoever knows himself knows his Lord / Man Arafa Nafsahu, Faqad Arafa Rabbahu, answer 274.

Index: Making Wudu when you are going to bed, answer 032.

[1] . Tamimi Amedi, Abdul Wahed bin Muhammad, Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 285, H. 6392, office of Tablighat publication, Qom, 1987.

[2] . Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 269, Hadith 5862.

[3] . Toosi, Abu Jafar, Muhammad bin Hasan, Tahdhib al-Ahkam, Vol. 2, Pg. 119, Hadith 217, Darel Kutub al-Islamiyah, Tehran, fourth edition, 1407 A.H. «مَنْ صَلَّى بِاللَّيْلِ حَسُنَ وَجْهُهُ بِالنَّهَارِ».

[4] . Shaeeri, Tajuddeen, Jame’ al-Akhbar, Pg. 72, Radhi Publication, Qom, 1984.

[5] . Hurr Ameli, Muhammad bin Hasan, Wasael al-Shia, Vol. 8, Pgs. 151 – 152, Hadith 10278.

[6] . Ibn Babawayh, Muhammad bin Ali, Man la Yahdhuruhul Faqih, Vol. 1, Pg. 41, Office of Islamic Publication, Qom, second edition, 1413 A.H.

[7] . Mustadrak al-Wasael, Vol. 6, Pg. 340.

[8] . Ghurarul Hikam, Pg. 346.

[9] . Surah Noor, verse 35.

[10] . Tafseer al-Mizan, Vol. 15, Pg. 168.

[11] . Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 210.

[12] . Nahjul Balagha, Sermon 86.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Wiping performed on socks invalidates Wudu

Question 037: What is the ruling in Jafari fiqh about making wudu over socks or are we supposed to take the socks off every time we make wudu?

Answer 037: According to all maraja, wiping performed on socks or shoes is void. If one is unable to remove his socks or shoes because of severe cold, or fear of life, or a robber and the like, there would be no problem to wipe on socks or shoes, and then his wudhu is considered as valid. If there was so cold but one would have enough time to perform his wudhu later under normal condition (on time of prayer) it is impermissible to wipe on the socks and shoes.

According to most of Ahlul Sunnah, wiping on the socks and shoes is permissible, even you are under normal condition. As a result, what the reason which is behind the permissibly of wiping on the socks and shoes is on the time when you are under Taqiyyah, according to Shia scholars.

Note: Ayatollah Sistani (ha) says: according to an obligatory precaution, one can wipe on the socks or shoes, and then perform tayammum. If a person is under Taqiyyah (hiding one’s faith), it would be enough for him to wipe on his socks and shoes.[1]

[1] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation), Sayyid Roohullah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 159, question 259, eighth edition, 1424 A.H. – For further information in this regards, please refer to: Moghniyah, Muhammad Javad, Al-Fiqh ‘ala al-Madhahib el Khamsah, Vol. 1, Pg. 37; Makarem Shirazi, Naser, Shia Pasokh Midahad (Shia Answers), Pg. 207.

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Doubts (shakk) during prayer whether wudu was performed or not

Question 036: If one gets Doubts (shakk) during the salah that wudu was not taken, should one break the salah to perform wudu?
Answer 036: If a person doubts during prayer (namaz) whether he has performed wuhu or not, his prayers is void, and he must perform wudhu and then pray. If a person is sure that he has performed wudu but doubts whether he has committed an act which invalidates it or not his wudu would be considered as valid.

If a person doubts whether his Wudhu has become void, he should treat it as valid. But, if he did not perform Istibra after urinating, and performed Wudhu, and thereafter some fluid was discharged about which he was not sure whether it was urine or something else, his Wudhu will be void.

If a person doubts whether he has performed Wudhu or not, he should perform Wudhu.

If a person is sure that he has performed Wudhu, and has also committed an act which invalidates Wudhu (e.g. urinating), but does not remember which happened first, he should act as follows: If this situation arises before his Namaz, he should perform Wudhu. If it arises during Namaz, he should break it and perform Wudhu. If it arises after Namaz, that Namaz will be valid, but for the next prayers, however, he should perform Wudhu.[1]

[1]. Tawzih al-Masael of maraja (with annotation), Sayyid Roohullah al-Moosavi al-Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 179, question 301, eighth edition, 1424 A.H. http://www.sistani.org/english/book/48/2157/;  The Official Website of the Office of Sayyid Sistani, Rules regarding Wudhu.

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Imam Hasan and Hussain teach an old man how to make Wudu

Question 024: Did Imam Hasan and Hussain teach an old man how to make wudu? Did they artificially dispute with each other in order to teach the old man how to make wudu?

Answer 024:  It has been narrated in some resources that Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (pbuth), as children, taught an old man, in a good manner, how to make wudu properly, as follows:

One day an old man came to Medina. At the time of prayers he began to make wudu, but he was making his wudu incorrectly. Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (pbuth) immediately realized that the old man was not doing his wudu correctly. They wanted to correct him, but hesitated to tell him directly. Perhaps the old man would feel humiliated by two young boys correcting him, or he might even lose interest in the act of worship.

Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (pbuth) came up with a plan. They went to the old man and said, “My brother and I disagree over who amongst us performs wudu the best. Would you mind watching us make wudu and be the judge to see which one of us indeed performs wudu correctly? Could you please correct us wherever we are wrong?” The man watched carefully trying to judge who is better.

The boys performed their wudu under his supervision, one after the other. When they had finished, he realized the wudu done by the boys was methodical and correct. It was his own wudu which was incorrect. Turning to Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (pbuth), he gently said: “The wudu done by you is correct. I am grateful that you chose to guide me in such a beautiful manner.”

Imam Hasan and Imam Hussain (pbuth) neither criticized the old man, nor reproached him for his ignorance of the ruling of Islam. They did not refer to his way of performing wudu as wrong, nor did they call his action void. Rather, they performed wudu themselves and taught the old man its correct way indirectly. The result of this polite and wise criticism was that the old man confessed to his mistake explicitly, learned how to perform wudu correctly, and thanked them with kindness and pleasure.[1]

[1] . Ibn Shahrashub, Mazandarani, Manaqeb Al –e- Abi-Taleb (a.s), Vol. 3, Pg. 400, Qom, Allamah publication, first edition, 1379 AH; Majlesi, Muhammad Baqer, Biharul Anwar, Vol. 43, Pg. 319, Beirut, Dar –e- Ehya al-Torath al-Arabi, second edition, 1403 AH.