Rules concerning tooth brush (Miswak) during fasting

Question 391: Salamualekum members. Please what is the view of ahlulbat on chewing stick (miswak) whiles fasting?

Answer 391: One of the things which is considered as makru for a person observing Fast is to clean his teeth with a wet toothbrush.

If a person, who is fasting, takes the tooth brush (Miswak) out of his mouth and then puts it back into his mouth, swallowing its liquid, his fast will be void, unless the moisture in the tooth brush mixes up with the saliva in such a way that it may no longer be called an external wetness.[1]

When one rinses his mouth with water because it has dried due to thirst or to get rid of a bad smell of mouth and the water uncontrollably goes down one’s throat and one has already known it that if he\she does so the water will go down his\her throat, qadha has to be given.[2]

A fast is not invalidated by swallowing the saliva which has gathered in the mouth, even if it has gathered due to recalling something. Likewise, according to the stronger opinion, (a fast is not invalidated) by swallowing the phlegm which has not yet reached the cavity of mouth, without there being any difference whether it has come down from the head or has emerged from the chest (or lungs). As regards the phlegm which has reached the cavity of mouth, caution must not be given up by abstaining from swallowing it. If the phlegm has come out of the mouth, and then a person swallows it, his fast shall thereby be rendered void. The same rule applies to saliva. Rather, (the same rule shall apply) if there is a pebble in the mouth of a person, and he takes it out, and there is some saliva on it, then the person puts it again into his mouth and swallows it. (The same rule shall apply), if a tailor wets a thread by his saliva, then puts it back into his mouth, and swallows it along with the moisture on it. (The same rule shall apply), if a person uses the tooth brush, and it comes out wet with saliva, and then he puts its back into his mouth and swallows the moisture etc., on it, and his fast shall be rendered void.

Of course, if the moisture on the tooth brush is mixed up with his saliva in a way that it may not be said that he has swallowed his saliva with something other in it, there shall be no harm. The same rule applies to tasting broth, chewing the food or the amount of water left after rinsing. Likewise, there is no harm in chewing the bark of a tree, according to the more valid opinion, even if its taste has remained in his saliva as long as it is not due to the scattering of its particles, even if they are absorbed in the mouth.[3]

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

Index: Things from which a person keeping fast must abstain & Kaffarah (Expiation), answer 372.

Index: Studying in the month of Ramadhan is not a valid excuse to escape fasting, answer 572.

Index: Using Asthma Inhaler does not break the Fast, answer 575.

Index: Number of things which are disapproved (Makruh) for a person observing fast, answer 566.

Index: Fasting and prayers of a traveler who travel after Zuhr, answer 384.

Index: Qada Fast for a person reverted to Islam, answer 196.

Index: Rules of prayers and fasting performed without ghusl, answer 034.

Index: Fast in countries with long days, answer 106.

Index: Niyyat for Fasting: How to make intention to Fast Ramadan, answer 627.

[1] . The official website of the office of Sayyid Sistani (ha), rules regarding Fasting, Eating and Drinking.

[2] . Tawzih al-Masael (with annotation of Imam Khomeini (ra)), Vol. 1, Pg. 892, Q  1573; Ibid, Pgs. 895-942, Q 1582&1690; the Official website of Sayyid Sistani (ha), Rules concerning Fasting, occasions on which it is obligatory to observe the Qadha only;  Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Pg. 272.

[3] . Tahrir al-Wasilah of Imam Khomeini, Vol. 1, Chapter on Things Which Must Be Refrained in a Fast.


Getting Married on Wednesday / Praised or Condemned Days

Question 077: Asalamu Alaikum. Is getting married on Wednesday allowed in Islam? I read something that said it is makrooh to have sex or approach wives on Wednesday. Is that an authenticated hadith? Please let me know, as soon as possible. Thank you.
Answer 077: There is a tradition narrated from Imam Ali (as) in which certain days of the week have been praised while other days have been condemned. These are: Saturday is the day of beguilement and deceit, Sunday is good day for constructing, planting and wedding, Monday is the day of travel and business, Tuesday is the day of war and bloodshed, Wednesday is a sinister day, Thursday is the day of visiting the ruler and getting needs fulfilled and Friday is a good day of proposal and marriage. [1] Read More


Fasting on Arafat Day / Mustahab Fast

Question 455: Salam alaikom. Is it compulsory to fast on the day of Arafah? Can you please tell us those days on which we have been strongly recommended to fast?

Answer 455: There are no restrictions limiting the times of fasting to a particular day, unless it is considered as haram on the day of Eid ul-Fitr and Qurban. It is recommended to fast on the Day of Arafa. But, if it is not possible for one to recite the Duas of ‘Arafa due to weakness caused by fasting, it is considered as Makruh to fast on that day. [1] Read More


The Virtues of the Day of Arafat / Fast on this Day

Question 155: What are the virtues of the day of Arafat? Is it haram to fast on this Day?

Answer 155: There are numerous virtues claimed for the 9th of Dhu ’l-Hijjah which is known as yawm al-‘Arafah. This is the day where the pilgrims assemble on the plain of ‘Arafah to complete one of the essential rituals of the Hajj. Read More


Cheese and Walnuts / Eating cheese in the morning is Makruh

Question 593: Are there any hadith about not eating cheese or stating its negativities? Also, are there any hadiths or sayings from the 14 Infallibles about not eating bread and cheese in the morning? What about Cheese and Walnuts at night?

Answer 593: Regarding cheese, a person asked Imam Sadiq (as). He said: it is an ailment without remedy. The Person went to the Imam at the time of dinner and saw there is cheese at his table! The man asked: O Imam Sadiq (as), May I be the ransom! I asked about the cheese at the time of Chasht (forenoon) and you replied it is an untreated pain, now I see it at the table! The Imam said: it harms us if it is used for Chasht whereas it is useful at night.[1] Read More


Haram Meat / The impermissibility of eating rabbit meat

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

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

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

Domestic Land Creatures:

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

Wild Land Creatures:

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

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

Eating halal meat creatures is sometimes haram:

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

The impermissibility of eating rabbit meat

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[2] Ibid.

[3] Jawahir al-Kalām , vol. 36, 294.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[17] Ibid.


Different Types of dreams: True Dreams and False

Question 561: Salamualekum warah matul laa. Please from the view of ahlulbat(as) at which time of the day does dreams comes true. True Dreams and False? At which time are dream considered satanic. At which time are dreams have equal chance of been true or not coming to pass.
Please help.

Answer 561: Although, time has no real effect on defining our dreams as the true or false dream, but the probability of being true or false can be determined in some of the times. In this regards, there is a hadith in which mentioned that those dreams have been seen in the third time of the night are of the true dreams. Because, the angels descend during this time.[1] Also, those dreams have been seen during the time when sleeping is considered as makruh are probably counted as false dreams, especially during the time of worshipping Allah, the Almighty when a person fell asleep due to the carelessness or being faraway from Allah (SWT).

Imam Sadiq (as) said: During the time of morning, sleeping is considered as sinister. It prevents sustenance from reaching you. A similar hadith has also narrated from the holy Prophet (pbuh).[2]

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said: Dream is of three types: Sometimes, a good news from Allah, a cause of sorrow and grief from Satan and sometimes, it is kinds of different issues we think about them during the day, and that’s why we see them in our dreams during night.[3]

Dream is divided into three divisions:

  1. Those dreams that are related to the past and desires. Most of our dreams are of this type. These kinds of dreams have no special interpretation.
  2. Confused and unknown dreams. Such dreams caused by our imagination and hallucinations. So, these kinds of dreams have also no special interpretation.
  3. Those dreams that are related to the future or give evidence of the future. These dreams are of two types: A. Definite dreams that don’t require any interpretation as they would happen in the future. B. Indefinite dreams that need to be interpreted. These kinds of dreams can be categorized as the true dreams. But, we ought not to recognize whether our dreams are of the true dreams or false. Because, a dream is an imaginary series of events that everyone experiences in his mind while he is asleep. It is still not clear enough for scientists as to how it really takes place. The Holy Quran speaks about Joseph’s dreams which came true[4] and whom God taught the science of interpreting dreams.[5]

When in prison, Yusuf interpreted the dreams of his inmates and when he was out of the prison, he interpreted the dreams of the king of Egypt. Therefore, interpreting dreams or the allegorical explanation (ta’vil)[6] of dreams, as termed by the Quran, is a reality and a science which God, the Exalted, taught Prophet Yusuf.  Daniel was also one of the prophets whom God taught the science of interpreting dreams.[7] The Quran gives examples of other divine prophets whose dreams God confirm and endorses to have been true.[8]

We come across two kinds of dreams in the narrations:

Some dreams are true and some are false.[9] The true dreams have been described and termed as “one part out of seventy parts of prophethood”[10]. This science cannot be acquired as it needs purification and cleansing of the soul, and it is given to an individual only on specific circumstances. It is for the same reason that the number of people bestowed with this ability is few and far between[11].

How to interpret our Dreams:  

Imam Musa Kadhim (as) said: dream would be come true as how it has interpreted. According to a tradition, the king of Egypt’s dream was of such confused dreams[12]. Meaning that his dream had no interpretation, but when the Prophet Josef (as) interpreted the dream it had come true. Imam Kadhim (as) also narrated a tradition: At the time of the holy Prophet, a woman saw a dream that a pillar of her house has been broken, so she goes to the Prophet and explained her dream. The Prophet interpreted: Your husband will come back home safely from journey. So, her husband come back home as the Prophet explained. She saw the same dream and the Prophet interpreted the same. So, the same thing happened again. but, she saw it for the third time but before she explained it to the Prophet she told it to another one and he said: Soon, your husband will die. When the Prophet heard the news, He said: why this man didn’t interpreted a good interpretation.[13] In other sources it is said that when the woman saw the same dream for the third time she wanted to explain it to the holy Prophet (pbuh), but He wasn’t present on that time, so she found Abu Bakr and told him about the dream. When the woman met the Prophet, He said to her: your husband will die as Abu Bakr interpreted your dream.[14]

Therefore, the important thing is to interpret our dreams good as Imam Reza (as) narrated a Qudsi hadith in which Allah, the Most High says: “I am as My servant excepts of Me, so if he thinks good of Me then he will have it, and if he thinks evil of Me then he will have it.”.[15]

[1] . Allamah Muhammad Baqir Majlesi, Hilyatul Muttaqeen, Qom, Hijrat publication, 1994, Pg. 246.

[2] . Hilyatul Muttaqeen, Pg. 170.

[3] . Biharul Anwar, Vol. 14, Pg. 441

[4] – Yusuf (Joseph): 4

[5] – Yusuf: 101

[6] – Yusuf: 101

[7] – Majlisi, Behar al-Anwar, Vol.14, p.371

[8] – Saffat: 105; Fath: 27.

[9] – Kulayni, Al-Kafi, Vol.8, p.91, Dar al-Kotub al-Islamiyah.

[10] – Saduq, Man La Yahzoruhu al-Faqih, Vol.2, p.584.

[11] . Adopted from answer 5212.

[12] . أَنَّ رُؤْيَا الْمَلِكِ كَانَتْ أَضْغَاثَ أَحْلَام

[13] . Kuleini, Muhammad bin Yaqoub, al-Kafi, editor and researcher: Ghafari, Ali Akbar, Akhoundi, Muhammad, Vol. 8, Pg. 335, 336, Dar l-Kutub al-Islamiyya, Tehran, fourth edition, 1407 A.H; Majlesi, Muhammad Baqir, Mer’atul Uqul fee Sharh e Akhbar Aal e al-Rasool, editor and researcher: Rasooli, Sayyid Hashem, Vol. 26, Pg. 491, Dar al-Kutub al-Islamiyya, Tehran, second edition, 1404 A.H.

[14] . Jazri, ibn Athir, Mubarak bin Muhammad, al-Nihayat fee Gharib al-Hadith wal Athar, Vol. 1, Pg. 314, Esmaeeliyan publications, Qom, first edition, 1988; Zamakhshari, Mahmood bin Umar, al-Faeq fee Gharib al-Hadith, editor and researcher: Shams al-Din, Ebrahim, Vol. 1, Pg. 211, Dar al-Kutub al-Elmiyyah, Beirut, first edition, 1417 A.H; ibn Mandoor, Muhammad bin Mukarram, Lisan al-Arab, editor and researcher: Mir Damadi, Jamal al-Din, Vol. 5, Pg. 328, Dar al-Fikr Li al-Tabaat wa al-Nashr wa al-Tawzee, Dar e Sader, Beirut, third edition, 1414 A.H.

[15] . Al-Kafi, Vol. 2, Pg. 72; Sheikh Hurr Ameli, Hidayat al-Ummah ila Ahkam al-Aemmah (Muntakhab al-Masael), Vol. 5, Pg. 541, Majma al-Bohuth al-Islamiyyah, Mashhad, first edition, 1412 A.H.