A. Changing one’s intention is obligatory in the following instances:
Changing one’s intention is mustaḥabb in the following cases:
Q 4. Which one of the following should be done by a person who wants to perform the Friday and the noon prayers together on Friday:
Q 8. What is the proof on which the Shī‘ah rely concerning the times of daily obligatory prayers? As you know, at the beginning time of the ‘ishā’ Sunnīs say that the maghrib prayer has lapsed and has become qaḍā’; and so is the case with the noon and the afternoon prayer. Accordingly, they believe that when the time of the ‘ishā’ prayers begins and the imam stands up to perform it, the person who prays behind him cannot perform the maghrib prayer with him in order to perform both prayers side by side.
A. The proof is represented by the generality of Qur’anic verses and the noble Sunnah in addition to the traditions that specifically indicate the permissibility of performing such prayers together. Moreover, Sunnīs also have some traditions that prove the permissibility of performing the two prayers during the time of one of them.
Q 9. Keeping in mind that the time of the afternoon prayer ends at sunset and the time of the noon prayer ends a little before sunset when there is just enough time to perform the afternoon prayer, I would like to ask what is meant by “sunset”? Is it the setting of the sun or when the adhān of maghrib prayer is said (according to the local horizon)?
A. The time for the afternoon prayer ends upon the disappearance of the sun.
Q 10 : How many minutes is the time gap between sunset and the time for adhān of maghrib?
A. Apparently, it varies with the change of the seasons of the year.
Q 11: Since I work until late at night I cannot return home before 11 p.m. and it is not possible for me to perform the maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers while working due to the large number of clients. Is it correct to perform the maghrib prayer and the ‘ishā’ after 11 p.m.?
A. There is no problem in it insofar as it does not entail their postponement beyond ‘midnight’. But try to perform them no later than 11p.m., rather offer prayer as soon as its time begins if possible.
Q 12: For our prayer to be considered as adā’ and make it possible for us to perform it with adā’ intention, at least how much of the prayer should be done at its proper time? And what is the rule in the case of doubt as to whether that portion has been performed within the time or not?
A. Performing a single rak‘ah of the prayer at the end of its time is sufficient for considering that it is adā’, and if you doubt whether the time is enough for performing at least one rak‘ah or not, you will perform the prayer with the intention of your real duty.
Q 13: The embassies and consulates of the Islamic Republic of Iran based in other countries have prepared a timetable for the designation of shar‘ī times in major areas and cities. My question is that, to what extent are these timetables reliable?
A. The criterion is the certainty of the mukallaf and if he is not convinced about the correspondence of these timetables with reality, it will be obligatory for him to observe caution and wait till he is sure that the shar‘ī time has set in.
Q 14: What is your opinion on the issue of the true fajr and the false fajr? What is the duty of the praying person in this regard?
A. The shar‘ī criterion with respect to the time of praying and fasting is true fajr, and its determination is the task of the mukallaf.
Q 15: In a full-time secondary school, the authorities conduct noon and ‘aṣr prayers in congregation at 2 p.m., shortly before the start of the afternoon classes. The reason for the delay is that the morning session ends 45 minutes before the shar‘ī noon and keeping students till the shar‘ī timing of noon is difficult. Having this in mind, what is your esteemed opinion, given the importance of performing prayer at the beginning of its time?
A. There is no problem in delaying congregational prayer so that those who want to perform prayer can gather assuming they are at school when prayer time begins.
Q 16: Is it obligatory to perform noon prayers after the adhān of noon and ‘aṣr prayers when its time has arrived, and to do the same with respect to maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers?
A. After the time arrives, the mukallaf has the choice either to perform the two prayers together successively or to perform, each at its prescribed most excellent time of virtue.
Q 17: Is it obligatory to wait for 15 to 20 minutes for performing morning prayer during moonlit nights? Given that the time of prayer could be determined by clocks and it is possible, then, to obtain certainty concerning the occurrence of the fajr?
A. There is no difference between nights, moonlit or otherwise, as regards fajr arrival, the time of morning obligatory prayer, and the obligatory time of abstinence for fasting, though it would be good to observe caution in this regard.
Q 18: Is the amount of difference of the shar‘ī times among various provinces, which is caused by the difference of their horizons, the same with respect to the time of all three daily obligatory prayers? For example, suppose that the difference between the noon prayer timings of two provinces is 25 minutes. Does this difference remain with respect to other timings and is it the same amount? Or does it vary for the timings of morning, maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers?
A. The sole similarity of the amount of difference between them with respect to the occurrence of fajr, noon, or sunset does not necessarily imply similarity with regard to all the other timings. Rather, the amount of difference between various cities often differs in relation to the three praying times.
Q 19: Given that Sunnīs perform maghrib prayer before shar‘ī maghrib, is it permissible for us to perform prayers behind them during hajj season and at other times? Do these prayers suffice?
A. It is not certain that their performance of prayer is before the arrival of its time. Joining them in their congregational prayer and praying behind them do not involve any problem and it is sufficient. However, it is necessary to wait for the specified time of prayer to arrive unless the time issue is also a matter of dissimulation.
Q 20: The sun rises in Denmark and Norway at 4 a.m. and sets at 23 p.m. Then by adding the time for morning payer and the gap between sunset and maghrib, the time for fast comes to about 22 hours. What is my duty with respect to performing prayers and fasting?
A. It is obligatory to observe the particular horizon of that area as far as the timing of daily prayers and fasting are concerned. If fasting is impossible or causes unbearable hardship due to the length of the day, it will cease to be obligatory in its time, and instead, it should be performed later as qaḍā’.
Q 21: The sunlight reaches the earth in about 7 minutes. Which one is the criterion for determining the end of the time of morning prayer: sunrise or when the sunlight reaches the earth?
A. The criterion of sunrise is its visibility on the local horizon of the praying person.
Q 22: Shar‘ī timings are announced by mass media a day before. Is it permissible to rely on these announcements and consider the broadcast or the telecast of adhān as the basis for the arrival of prayer time?
A. If the mukallaf becomes confident about the beginning of the time by this means, he can rely on it.
Q 23: Does the time of prayer start as soon as adhān begins to be recited, or is it obligatory to wait till adhān is over? And is it permissible for a fasting person to end his fast as soon as adhān begins or is it obligatory for him to wait until it ends?
A. If one is certain that adhān started when the time arrived, it is not necessary to wait until its end.
Q 24: Is the prayer of someone who has performed the second of two prayers before the first — such as the ‘ishā’ before the maghrib — correct?
A. In case that he performed the second prayer first by mistake or unintentionally and he remembered only when he had completed the prayer, then it is correct. But if he did so intentionally, it is invalid.
Q 25: Does the time of the afternoon prayer extend until the adhān of maghrib or does it end just at sunset? Also what is the exact time of shar‘ī midnight regarding ‘ishā’ prayer and passing the night at Mina in hajj?
A. The end limit of the time of the afternoon prayer is sunset. For calculating shar‘ī midnight, one should consider the length of the night from sunset till fajr.
Q 26: What is the duty of the person who becomes aware during the afternoon prayer that he had not performed noon prayer?
A. If he starts saying the afternoon prayer thinking that he had prayed the noon prayer and during the prayer he notices his mistake, then if that happened at the time which is common between noon and afternoon prayers, he should, immediately, change his intention to the noon prayer and finish it and, then, perform the afternoon prayer. If that happens at the specific time of the noon prayer [which starts at noon time and last until it is enough for offering noon prayer, i.e. enough for four rak‘ahs for the resident person and two rak‘ahs for.
Q 27. Please answer the following questions:
i. It is stated based on some books on Islamic law that the sun is exactly above the Ka‘bah on two days: the 28th of May and the 16th of July. In such a condition, is it possible to determine the direction of the qiblah by fixing a pole in the ground at the time of adhān in Mecca? In case the direction of qiblah in the prayer niches of masjids differs from the direction of the pole’s shadow, which one is more correct?
ii. Is it correct to rely on a compass to find the qiblah?
A. It is correct to rely on the pole or compass provided that it makes the mukallaf confident with respect to the direction of qiblah and it should be acted upon. Otherwise, there is no problem in relying on the niches of masjids or the graves of Muslims in determining the direction of the qiblah.
Q 28. Is it correct to perform prayer in any direction in the course of a fierce battle when it is not possible to determine the direction of qiblah?
A. If all directions are equally probable and there is enough time, one should perform prayer in four directions, as per obligatory caution. But in the shortage of time one should repeat the prayer to every direction that he thinks it may be the correct one as much as time allows.
Q 29. How should one face the qiblah at the point which is the opposite to the Holy Ka‘bah on the other side of the earth so that the line drawn from the Holy Ka‘bah passing through the center of the earth comes out of the other side of the earth at this point?
A. The basis in facing the qiblah is to turn towards the Free House [Ka‘bah] in such a manner that someone who stands on the surface of the earth faces the Holy Ka‘bah that is built upon the earth’s surface in Mecca. Therefore, if one stands at a point on the earth where the straight lines emanating from it in four directions and passing over the earth’s surface towards the Holy Ka‘bah are equal in distance, he can pray to any direction he wishes. But, if the distance in some directions is shorter to the extent that the realization of facing qiblah varies according to common view, it will be obligatory to choose the direction of the shorter distance.
Q 30. What should a person do in a place where he does not knows the direction of the qiblah for sure or with probability, i.e., all four directions enjoy equal chances to be that of the qiblah?
A. In the given question it will be obligatory, as per obligatory caution, to perform the prayer in all four directions and if there is not enough time for offering four prayers, one should perform the prayers in as many directions as time allows.
Q 31. How is the direction of the qiblah determined and how should prayer be performed at the north and South Pole?
A. The criterion in determining the direction of qiblah at the two Poles is to find the shortest line from the location of the praying person to the Ka‘bah passing on the surface of the earth and then, to face qiblah along that line.
The Place of Praying
Q 32. Is one permitted to sit in, perform prayers in, or pass through places that have been usurped by a tyrannical regime?
A. Assuming certainty about usurpation, the rules and consequences of the usurped [places] will apply to it.
Q 33. What is the rule with respect to performing prayer on land that used to be an endowment in the past and the government has taken it over and built a school on it?
A. If there is a considerable probability that the said making use of the land by the government has been due to a shar‘ī justification, there will be no problem in performing prayers on it.
Q 34. I lead the congregational prayer in some schools. The schools are built on the lands without the consent of the landlords. What is the rule of my prayer and those of the students there?
A. If it is considerably probable that the related official has built schools there on the basis of legal and shar‘ī permission, to say prayer there is no problem.
Q 35. A person performed prayers, for a period of time, on a prayer mat or in a dress out of which khums was to be paid. What is the state of these prayers?
A. So far the prayers he said wearing them are valid.
Q 36. Is it true that men should stand in front of women while performing prayer?
A. By obligatory caution, there should be a distance of — at least — one hand span between a man and a woman who are praying. In this case, their prayers are valid if they are in the same row or she stands in front of him.
Q 37. What is the rule with respect to hanging the photographs of Imam Khomeini (q.) and the martyrs of the Islamic Revolution in the masjids, given that Imam Khomeini (q.) expressed his desire not to have his photographs fixed in the masjids and there is also a view that considers such an act as makrūh?
A. There is no objection to doing so. But if they are in the place where people say their prayers, it is better to cover the photographs at the time of prayer.
Q 38. A person has been living in a house owned by the government and after the allotted time for his residence is over, he is given a notice to vacate it. What is the rule pertaining to his prayers and fasting after the deadline fixed for its evacuation expires?
A. If he is not allowed by the concerned authorities to reside in the house after the deadline, all kind of making use of the house will be considered as acts of usurpation.
Q 39. Is it makrūh to perform prayer on a prayer mat that has pictures on it or on clay [turbah] with engravings?
A. It is not problematic in itself but if it provides an opportunity for those who always accuse Shī‘ah, it will be obligatory to refrain from manufacturing such things and performing prayers on them. Also, if it entails absent mindedness and loss of concentration during prayer, it will be makrūh.
Q 40. The place we perform prayer is not pure but the place of prostration is. Is our prayer correct?
A. If the najāsah of the place does not transfer to one’s clothes or body and the place of prostration is pure, there will be no problem in performing prayer there.
Q 41. The present building of the office where we work used to be the site of a graveyard in the past. About forty years ago it was abandoned and thirty years ago this building was constructed. Now, all the lands around the office have been built on, and there remains no sign of the graveyard. Please clarify whether it is correct for the employees to perform prayer in such an office from the viewpoint of Islamic law?
A. The different kinds of making use of such an office and performing prayer in it are allowed without any problem unless it is proved through a shar‘ī way that the ground upon which this office has been built is an endowment for the burial of the dead and it has been used for building through illegal ways as per shar‘.
Q 42. Some faithful youths have decided to hold prayers in parks on one or two days of the week for the sake of enjoining the good. Some respected and elderly people objected to it saying that the ownership of such places is not clear. What is the ruling with regard to performing prayer in such places?
A. There is no problem in using present parks and the like for such activities as holding prayers, etc. The mere probability of usurpation is not to be taken into consideration.
Q 43. The land of a high school belongs to a person. According to the city plan, it was decided to change it to a park. However, due to pressing need and agreement of the officials, a high school was built there. The owner does not agree that the government uses his land and declared his objection to say one's prayer there. What is your respected opinion in this regard?
A. If they got the land in consistent with the laws passed by The Islamic Consultative Assembly and ratified by the Guardian Council, there is no problem in using it / saying one's prayer there.
Q 44. In our city, there were two adjacent masjids separated by a wall. Some time ago, some pious people removed a large part of that wall with the purpose of connecting the two masjids. This became the cause of doubt for some people with respect to performing prayers in both masjids. They still doubt. Please advise what is to be done in this case?
A. The destruction of the wall separating the two masjids does not cause any problem with performing prayers in them.
Q 45. There are some restaurants on the roads next to which there exist places for performing prayer. If one does not eat in those restaurants, will he be allowed to perform prayer in those places or does he have to seek permission from the owners of the restaurants?
A. If there is a probability that the place for performing prayer belongs to the owner of the restaurant and that the right to take advantage of it is exclusive to those who eat in that restaurant, it will be obligatory for him to ask for permission.
Q 46. Will the prayer of a person be valid if he performs it on usurped land while standing on a prayer mat or a wooden board or something similar?
A. The prayer performed on usurped land is void even if one stands on a prayer mat or something else put on the land.
Q 47. In some governmental companies and institutions, there are some people who do not attend congregational prayers held in them with the excuse that such places were taken over from their owners upon the orders of a shar‘ī court. Please state your honored opinion in this matter?
A. If there is a probability that the judge who issued the confiscation order enjoys legal competence and did so according to shar‘ī and legal criteria, then his act will be considered valid, and therefore, it will be permissible to carry out every kind of activity in that place and the rules of usurpation do not apply to it.
Q 48. If there is a masjid next to a ḥusayniyyah, will it be correct to perform congregational prayer in the ḥusayniyyah? Are the rewards of such prayers equal in both places?
A. There is no doubt that the merit of performing prayer in a masjid is more than that performed in any other place. However, by itself there is no shar‘ī obstacle to performing congregational prayer in a ḥusayniyyah or in any other place.
Q 49. Is it correct to perform prayer in a place where forbidden music is being played?
A. If it entails listening to a ḥarām kind of music, staying there is not permissible, although performing prayer is considered valid. If the sound of music distracts one’s attention and concentration, performing prayer there will be makrūh.
Q 50. What is the rule concerning the prayer of those who are sent on a mission in a boat when the prayer time begins in such a way that if they do not pray there, they will not be able to perform it thereafter in its specific time?
A. In the mentioned condition it is obligatory for them to perform prayer at its time in any possible way even inside the boat.
Rules of a Masjid
Q 51. Given that performing prayers in the neighboring masjid is mustaḥabb, is there any problem in leaving the neighboring masjid in order to go to the jāmi‘ masjid of the city to perform congregational prayer?
A. There is no problem if one abstains from going to the local masjid in order to attend the congregational prayer of another masjid, particularly the jāmi‘ masjid of the city.
Q 52. What is the rule with regard to performing prayers in a masjid which some people who participated in its construction claim that they built for themselves and their tribe?
A. After being built as a masjid it does not belong to a specific nationality, group, tribe, or individuals, and it is permissible for all Muslims to make use of it.
Q 53. Is it more preferable for women to perform prayer in a masjid or at home?
A. The merits of performing prayer in a masjid are not restricted to men.
Q 54. At present, there is a short wall between Masjid al-Ḥarām and the passage between Safā and Marwah. This wall measures half a meter high and one meter wide and is shared by both the Masjid and the passage of sa‘y. Could women sit on this wall during their period when it is not permissible for them to enter Masjid al-Ḥarām?
A. There is no problem in doing so unless one becomes certain that the wall is a part of the Masjid.
Q 55. Is one permitted to do sports exercises or sleep in a local masjid? What is the rule of doing so in other masjids?
A. A masjid is not a place of sport exercises and any practice incompatible with its standing and prestige should be avoided. Also sleeping inside a masjid is makrūh.
Q 56. Is it permissible to use the yard of a masjid for providing youngsters with intellectual, cultural, ideological and military (through military lessons) information? And what is the shar‘ī rule of practicing these actions in the portico of a masjid (taking into account the shortage of places designated for such purposes)?
A. It depends on the conditions of the endowment of the yard and portico of the masjid and it is obligatory to seek the advice of the congregational prayer imam and the board of trustees of the masjid in this regard. Of course the presence of the youth in masjids and setting up religious classes upon the permission of the imam and the board of trustees are desirable and mustaḥabb matters.
Q 57. In some areas, particularly in villages, people hold wedding ceremonies in masjids. That is, they perform all celebrations involving dance and music at home, but serve lunch or dinner in the masjid. Does Islamic law permit this?
A. There is no problem, in itself, in serving food to guests in a masjid.
Q 58. A cooperative builds residential quarters and it is initially agreed upon that those areas include public places such as masjids. Now that residential units are prepared and have been submitted to the company’s shareholders, could some of them breach their agreement by saying that they are not content with building the masjid?
A. If the company builds the masjid upon obtaining the agreement of all of its members and the masjid is constructed and endowed, the withdrawal of some members from the previous agreement will have no effect. If, however, their change of mind occurs prior to the realization of the masjid’s endowment, construction of the masjid using members money on the land which belongs to all members without their consent will be impermissible unless it is stated as a condition in a binding contract that a part of the land is allocated for the construction of the masjid and the members have accepted this condition. In such a case, they have no right to change their minds and their withdrawal will have no effect.
Q 59. In order to combat the non-Islamic cultural invasion, we gathered about 30 students from elementary and high schools in the form of song bands in the masjid. The members of these bands participate in classes on the Qur’an, the practical laws of Islam, and Islamic ethics appropriate to their age and intellectual level. What is the rule regarding such activities? What is your ruling on playing a musical instrument called organ by this band? And what is the rule of playing this instrument in the masjid while observing shar‘ī standards?
A. There is no problem in having classes on Qur’an, practical laws of Islam, Islamic ethics and practicing religious and revolutionary songs in a masjid. But it is obligatory to show appropriate respect for the status, sacredness, and position of the masjid and it is impermissible to annoy and disturb the praying persons.
Q 60. In order to combat the non-Islamic cultural invasion, we gathered about 30 students from elementary and high schools in the form of song bands in the masjid. The members of these bands participate in classes on the Qur’an, the practical laws of Islam, and Islamic ethics appropriate to their age and intellectual level. What is the rule regarding such activities? What is your ruling on playing a musical instrument called organ by this band? And what is the rule of playing this instrument in the masjid while observing shar‘ī standards?
A. There is no problem in having classes on Qur’an, practical laws of Islam, Islamic ethics and practicing religious and revolutionary songs in a masjid. But it is obligatory to show appropriate respect for the status, sacredness, and position of the masjid and it is impermissible to annoy and disturb the praying persons.
Q 61. Is there any objection, according to Islamic law, to playing cheerful music in the masjid on the occasion of the birthdays of the Infallible Imams (a.)?
A. The masjid has obviously a distinguished shar‘ī status. Therefore, if playing music is not appropriate to its status; it will be ḥarām even if the music being played is not lahwī.
Q 62. When is it permissible to use loudspeakers of a masjid to broadcast programs outside? And what is the ruling with respect to playing Qur’anic cassettes and revolutionary songs prior to adhān?
A. There is no problem in relaying the recitation of the Holy Qur’an over the loudspeaker for a few minutes prior to adhān when it does not cause discomfort and disturbance for neighbors and the residents of the area.
Q 63. How do you define a jāmi‘ masjid?
A. It is a masjid built in the city for the gathering of most of the residents of that city without being specific for a particular tribe or group of people.
Q 64. A roofed section of a masjid has been left vacant and no prayers have been performed there for the last thirty years. Now, it has become a ruin and a part of it is used as storage. Recently, some repairs have been done in this masjid by the Basīj Forces that have been headquartered in its roofed section since approximately 15 years ago. The reason for these repairs was the inappropriate condition of the building, especially that the roof was about to fall. Since the brothers in the Basīj Forces were unaware of the rules of masjid, and those who knew the rules did not guide them, the brothers built a number of rooms in a part of this section spending large amounts of money on the project. Now that construction operations are nearly completed, we would be grateful if you clarify the shar‘ī rule concerning the following matters:
i. Assuming that those in charge of this project and those supervising it were unaware of the rule, are they considered liable, according to shar‘, for the expenditures spent out of the public assets of Muslims? And are they sinners or not?
ii. Given that the expenditures were obtained from the public assets of Muslims, would you allow — as long as the masjid does not need this part and no prayers is performed there — that these rooms are used, in full compliance with shar‘ī rules and restrictions concerning a masjid, for educational purposes like teaching the Holy Qur’an and practical laws, and for other affairs of the masjid? Or is it obligatory to destroy those rooms?
A. It is obligatory to restore the roofed part of the masjid to its original condition by demolishing the rooms that were built in it. As regards the expenditures, it is not certain whether anyone is responsible for them as long as there was no extravagance, wastefulness, wantonness and negligence. There is no problem in using the roofed section of the masjid for holding classes of the Holy Qur’an, laws, and Islamic theology and engaging in other religious ceremonies as long as such activities do not disturb those who are performing prayers and are held under the supervision of the imam of the masjid. The imam, the Basīj Forces, and other persons in charge of the masjid should cooperate to preserve the attendance of Basīj Forces in the masjid as well as to prevent any disorder in its worship related duties such as prayers, etc.
Q 65. Several masjids are located inside the area covered by a road-widening project. Therefore, it is necessary to demolish some of these masjids completely and some others partially in order to facilitate the traffic of motor vehicles. Please clarify your esteemed opinion in this regard.
A. It is not permissible to demolish a masjid or a part of it except when there is a specific advantage which cannot be neglected and ignored.
Q 66. Is it permissible for people to make personal use of a small quantity of a masjid’s water, which is specifically there for performing wuḍū’. For example, could shopkeepers use it for drinking cold water, making tea, or for their cars, given that the masjid has no single endower who can prevent people from doing so?
A. If it is not known that the masjid’s water is endowed to be used for wuḍū’ only by those who want to perform prayer, and in the masjid’s area the neighbors and passers-by usually use such water, there will be no problem with it, although observing caution in this regard is preferred.
Q 67. There is a masjid near a graveyard. When some believers come to pay a visit to the graves of their dead, they take water from the masjid to pour over the gravestones. We do not know whether this water has been endowed for the masjid or may be subject to general use. And assuming that we know that the water is not endowed for the masjid, and we do not know whether or not it is allocated for use in wuḍū’ and toilet uses, is it permissible to use the water in the said way?
A. There will be no problem in taking water from the masjid for pouring over the gravestones located outside if it is commonly practiced, nobody objects to doing that, and there is no evidence suggesting that the endowment was specifically for wuḍū’ and purification only.
Q 68. Is the permission of the authorized religious authority or his attorney required when a masjid needs to be repaired?
A. For the voluntary repair of a masjid — spending one’s own money or the money of charitable contributors — there is no need to acquire any permission from the authorized religious authority.
Q 69. Is it permissible for me to make a will that I should be buried in the local masjid to which I have made many contributions? That is because I would like to be buried in that masjid, whether inside or in its yard.
A. If the burial of a dead is not excepted at the time of pronouncing the formula of the endowment, it is not permissible to bury anybody there, and therefore, your will in this regard has no validity.
Q 70. A masjid was constructed about 20 years ago and decorated with the lovely name of Ṣāḥib al-Zamān, (may Allah hasten his reappearance). Given that it is not known whether this name was mentioned in the endowment formula of the masjid, what is the rule of changing the masjid’s name from ‘Ṣāḥib al-Zamān’ to jāmi‘ masjid?
A. There is no problem in the mere change of the masjid’s name.
Q 71. Some masjids have been equipped with electricity and air conditioners by using nadhr money and believers’ gifts to these masjids. Whenever one of the neighboring residents dies, ceremonies for reciting the Fātiḥah are held for him in the masjid and the masjid’s electricity and air conditioning system are used during the service but the organizers do not pay anything towards the expenses of such usage. Is this permissible according to Islamic law?
A. The permissibility of using the facilities of the masjid for special mourning events and the like is dependent on the conditions of the endowment or donation of those facilities as nadhr for the masjid.
Q 72. There is a newly built masjid in a village (on land where the old masjid stood). Due to the lack of knowledge, a room was constructed for making tea in a corner of this masjid, the land of which was a part of the old masjid. Furthermore, a library was built on the rooftop of the terrace that exists inside the masjid. Please express your honor’s opinion on this matter and also the completion of, and how to use, the interior half of the building?
A. Building a tearoom on the land of the old masjid is not correct and it is obligatory to restore the place to its previous status of being a masjid. The same rule applies to both the rooftop of the masjid and the masjid itself and all rules and shar‘ī effects pertaining to the masjid also apply to its rooftop. However, there will be no problem in setting up bookcases there and gathering there for the purpose of reading books if such things do not disturb praying persons.
Q 73. In a village, there is a masjid which is going to be ruined. Since this masjid does not obstruct any path or route, there is no justification for demolishing it. Is it permissible to demolish this masjid completely? Besides, this masjid has certain equipments and properties. To whom should these things be given?
A. It is not permissible to demolish and destroy a masjid. Generally speaking, a masjid does not cease to be a masjid merely due to demolishing it. As for the assets of the masjid, if there is no need for using them there, there is no problem in transferring them to other masjids so that they are used.
Q 74. Is it permissible, according to Islamic law, to build a museum in a corner of the yard of a masjid without interfering with the masjid’s building itself, just like a library that constitutes a part of the masjid’s construction at the time being?
A. It is not permissible to build a museum or a library in a corner of the masjid’s yard if it is against the specifications of the endowment of the masjid’s hall, terrace, or yard, or results in a change in the masjid’s building. It is preferred that you build another place adjacent to the masjid for the said purpose.
Q 75. There is an endowed place where a masjid, a school for Islamic studies, and a library are built and all of them are currently operational. This place is a part of the map of the places that are to be demolished by the municipality. How could we cooperate with the municipality for the destruction of these places and obtain clearance from them to build better places?
A. If the municipality demolishes them and compensates for them, there is no objection to it. However, the very demolishing of an endowed masjid or school is not permissible unless there is a more significant interest that could not be overlooked.
Q 76. In order to enlarge a masjid here, it has become necessary to cut down some of the trees which exist in its yard. Given that the masjid’s yard is quite big and it has numerous trees, is it permissible to do so?
A. There is no problem in it if cutting the trees is not considered an alteration in the endowment.
Q 77. What is the ruling with regards to the land that was originally a part of the roofed section of a masjid but was altered to a street after the masjid was included in the municipality’s development plan and a part of it was demolished due to necessity?
A. Application of the rules for masjids to it is not certain if the probability of the restoration of the land to its original status of a masjid is faint.
Q 78. There was a masjid that had been destroyed and its traces are completely effaced or another building has been built in its place and there is no hope that the building of the masjid will be restored, for example, all surrounding buildings are ruined and the people have moved to another area. Is the act of making this place najis ḥarām and is purifying it obligatory?
A. In the given question, it is not certain that it is ḥarām to make this place najis, although it is a caution not to make it najis.
Q 79. I have been conducting congregational prayers at a masjid for a while having no information about the details of the masjid’s endowment. Given that this masjid is presently facing numerous financial difficulties, is it permissible to rent out its basement to do something that fits the masjid’s status?
A. There is no problem in it if the title of ‘masjid’ does not apply to the basement, the basement is not considered a part of the facilities that the masjid needs, and it is not endowed to be utilized itself.
Q 80. The masjid does not have any properties through which its affairs could be run. The supervisory board has proposed digging a basement under the roofed section of the masjid in order to build a small factory and facilities for public utilities for the service of the masjid. Is this permissible?
A. It is not permissible to dig a basement under the roofed section in order to set up a small factory or the like.
Q 81. In general, is it permissible for non-Muslims enter Muslims’ masjids even for the purpose of visiting ancient monuments?
A. According to shar‘, they should not enter Masjid al-Ḥarām. If their entrance to other masjids is considered to entail disgrace and disrespect to the sanctity of the masjid, it is, also impermissible; in general, they should not enter any masjid.
Q 82. Is it permissible to perform prayers in a masjid built by non-Muslims?
A. There is no objection to performing prayers in it.
Q 83. Is it permissible to accept the money or other kinds of donations offered by non-Muslims for building a masjid?
A. There is no objection to it.
Q 84. What is the duty of someone who enters a masjid at night, sleeps there, and has a nocturnal emission but cannot leave the masjid after he wakes up?
A. If there is no way that he can leave the masjid and go to somewhere else, it is obligatory for him to perform tayammum at once which makes it permissible for him to remain in the masjid.
Rules Regarding Other Religious Places
Q 85. Is it permissible to register a ḥusayniyyah under the names of certain persons?
A. It is impermissible to register a ḥusayniyyah that is endowed for holding religious ceremonies as private property and there is no need to register it — as an endowment — under the names of specific persons. In any case, registering it as an endowment under the names of some persons is better done after obtaining the permission of all those who contribute in its construction.
Q 86. It is stated in the books on practical laws that it is not permissible for a junub person or a menstruating woman to enter the shrines of the Imams (a.). Please explain whether what is meant by the shrines is only the area beneath the dome or does it include all buildings connected to that area?
A. The shrine means the area under the blessed dome and that which is commonly recognized as the shrine and the holy place where an Imam (a.) is buried. As far as the attached building and porches are concerned, they are not subject to the rules of the shrine; therefore, there is no problem in the entrance of a junub person or a menstruating woman in them except those sections that have the title of masjid.
Q 87. A ḥusayniyyah was built next to an old masjid. At present, this masjid does not have enough space to accommodate all of the people who want to perform prayer. Is it permissible to incorporate the said ḥusayniyyah to this masjid and use it as a part of the masjid?
A. There is no problem in performing prayers in the ḥusayniyyah. However, if the ḥusayniyyah has been endowed correctly, according to shar‘, as a ḥusayniyyah, it is not permissible to transform it to a masjid or incorporate it to the adjacent masjid under the title of masjid.
Q 88. Could the carpets and properties donated — as nadhr — to the shrine of one of the descendants of the Imams (a.) be used in the jāmi‘ masjid of an area?
A. There is no problem in it provided that they are in excess of the needs of the shrine and its visitors.
Q 89. Do the rules of a masjid also apply to the takiyahs that are founded under the name of Abulfaḍl (a.), etc.? Please, clarify the rules of such centers.
A. The rules of a masjid do not apply to takiyahs and ḥusayniyyahs.
Clothes of the Praying Person
Q 90. Will my prayer be invalid if I perform them in clothes that I doubt are najis?
A. Clothing which one doubts its being najis is considered pure and it is correct to perform prayer in it provided that we are not sure that it was najis before the time of doubt.
Q 91. I purchased a leather belt from Germany. Is there any shar‘ī problem in performing prayers with it if I doubt whether it is made of natural or synthetic leather or whether the leather belongs to an animal that is slaughtered ritually? And what is the ruling with respect to the prayers that I performed while having the belt on?
A. If you doubt whether it is made of natural leather or not, there is no problem in performing prayers with it on. But, if you know it is made of natural leather but doubt whether it is from an animal that was ritually slaughtered or not, even though it is ruled as pure, it is unlawful to pray in it. Nevertheless, the prayers performed in the past are considered valid and there is no need to make them up if you were ignorant of this ruling.
Q 92. If someone is sure that there is no najis substance on his clothes or body and performs his prayer but realizes afterwards that his body or clothes were najis; is the prayer he performed invalid? What will be the ruling if it becomes najis during the prayer?
A. If someone is not aware at all that his body or clothes are najis and comes to know it only after the end of the prayer, it is valid, and it is not obligatory for them to repeat, or perform the qaḍā’ of that prayer. But, if it becomes najis during the prayer, it will be obligatory for them to remove the najāsah from their body or take off the najis clothing during the prayer — provided that they can do so without committing anything that contradicts the prayer — and complete their prayer. If they are unable to remove the najāsah while preserving the status of the prayer and there is enough time, it is obligatory for them to break the prayer and resume it after the removal of the najāsah.
Q 93.A person used to perform his prayers for a period of time while wearing clothes made of the leather of an animal about which there was doubt as to whether it was ritually slaughtered while the prayer is invalid with that leather. Should he say the prayers again? In general, what is the ruling on an animal about which there was doubt as to whether it was ritually slaughtered?
A.The rule for such an animal is similar to the rule for an animal that was not ritually slaughtered in that it is ḥarām to eat the meat or to perform prayer with the leather, but it is considered pure. Nevertheless, if the previous prayers were performed in ignorance about this rule, they are ruled as correct.
Q 94. A woman realizes during her prayer that some of her hair is unveiled and immediately covers it. Is it obligatory for her to repeat that prayer?
A. It is not obligatory to repeat that prayer as long as unveiling the hair is not intentional.
Q 95. Due to urgency, a person is compelled to clean his urinary outlet using a piece of wood, stone or something else. Then he washes that part with water after returning home. Is it obligatory for him to change or purify his underwear in order to perform prayer?
A. It will not be obligatory for him to purify his clothes if they have not been made najis by the wetness of the urine.
Q 96. Some imported industrial machines are installed with the assistance of foreign experts who are considered, according to Islamic law, non-Muslims and najis. The activation of these machines is accomplished through their lubrication or other actions done by hand. Therefore, these machines cannot be pure. Given that workers’ clothes and bodies always touch these machines during the work, and they do not have enough time throughout working hours to purify their cloths and bodies completely, what is their duty with respect to performing prayer?
A. Due to the probability that the non-Muslim who activates the machines is from the People of the Book, who are considered pure, or that he wears gloves while working, no certainty emerges concerning the najāsah of the place and machines merely by knowing that they are activated by a non-Muslim. However, if there is certainty about the najāsah of the machine and that workers’ bodies and clothes contact it with transmitting moisture while working on it, it is obligatory to purify their bodies and purify or change their clothes for prayer.
Q 97. If a praying person carries a handkerchief or something similar that is made najis by blood or has such things in his pocket, will his prayer be void?
A. If the handkerchief is too small to cover one’s private parts, there is no problem in it.
Q 98. Is it correct to perform prayer in clothes that are scented with modern perfumes containing alcohol?
A. There is no problem in performing prayer in it as long as the perfume in question is not known to be najis.
Q 99. How much of the body a woman should be covered in prayer? Is there any problem with short-sleeved clothes and in not wearing socks?
A. Women should cover the whole body except the area of the face washed during wuḍū’, the hands up to the wrists, and the feet up to the ankles provided that the dress should really cover the body. In the presence of a non-maḥram the feet should be covered as well.
Q 100. Is it obligatory for women to cover their feet during prayer?
A. Covering the feet up to the ankles is not obligatory as long as no non-maḥram is there.
Q 101. Is it obligatory to cover one’s chin completely when wearing ḥijāb and performing prayer or is it sufficient to cover the lower part of it? And is the obligation of veiling the chin a preliminary step for the obligatory face veil in shar‘?
A. It is obligatory to cover the lower part of the chin not the chin itself, because it is a part of the face.
Q 102. Does the rule relating to the correctness of prayer prayed with an extrinsically najis thing that is not enough to cover one’s private parts apply only to the cases of forgetting of, or ignorance of, the rule or the subject, or does it cover cases of ambiguity with respect to the case or to the rule?
A. The rule is neither specific to the case of forgetfulness nor to that of ignorance. Rather, it is permissible to perform prayers along with carrying an extrinsically najis thing which is not sufficient to cover the private parts even if one knows about it.
Q 103. Does the existence of the hair or saliva of a cat on a person’s clothes cause his/her prayer to be invalid?
A. Yes, it invalidates the prayer.
Wearing and Using Gold and Silver
Q 104. What is the rule of wearing gold rings by men, (particularly during prayers)?
A. A man is not allowed to wear a gold ring at all, and the prayer he performs while wearing it is void as per obligatory caution.
Q 105. What is the rule of wearing white gold rings by men?
A. If the so-called white gold is the known yellow gold which is mixed with a substances that makes its color white, it is ḥarām. While if the amount of gold in it is so small that in the common view it is not called it gold anymore, it is not forbidden to wear it. Platinum is also no problem.
Q 106. Is there any problem, according to shar‘, in wearing gold when it is not for beautification purposes and the gold is not visible to others?
A. It is absolutely ḥarām for men to wear gold whether ring or something else even though it is not for adorning purposes and the gold is hidden from others.
Q 107. What is the ruling with respect to wearing gold by men for a short period? We ask this question because there are some people who claim that there is no problem in wearing gold for a short period such as the time of marriage.
A. Wearing gold is ḥarām for men, whether for a short period or a long one.
Q 108. Taking into consideration the rules regarding the clothes of a praying person and that wearing gold as an adornment is forbidden for men, please answer the following two questions:
i. Does adorning with gold mean any use of gold by men even in bone surgery and dentistry?
ii. Given that, according to a tradition in our area, newly married youths wear engagement rings made of yellow gold, and this action is by no means considered by ordinary people as an adornment for men, but as a sign of the beginning of the individual’s marital life, what is Your Eminence’s opinion in this regard?
i. The criterion in the prohibition of wearing gold by men is not that it falls under the category of adorning, rather it includes all forms and purposes of wearing gold. Therefore, it is ḥarām even if it happens to be an ordinary or wedding ring, chain, etc. However, there is no problem in the use of gold for men in bone surgery and dentistry.
ii. Wearing rings made of yellow gold is ḥarām for men in any case.
Q 109. What is the rule of selling and making golden jewelry which is specifically to be used by men and not worn by women?
A. Making golden jewelry to be specifically used by men is ḥarām. Similarly, it is not permissible to buy and sell it for that purpose.
Q 110. We see in some parties that sweets are served on silver plates. Is this action considered an example of eating from a silver plate? And what is its rule?
A. If to take food or the like from a silver plate for the purpose of eating is considered as eating from a silver plate, it is ḥarām.
Q 111. Is there any problem in having one’s tooth covered with gold? What is the rule of having it covered with platinum?
A. There is no problem in having one’s teeth covered with gold or platinum. However, a problem arises in the case of covering the front teeth with gold for the purpose of adornment.
Adhān and Iqāmah
Q 112. In our village, the person who says the morning adhān during the blessed month of Ramadan always does so a few minutes before the beginning of the time so that people may continue eating and drinking until the middle or end of the adhān. Is it correct to do so?
A. If raising the adhān does not lead to people’s confusion, and is not intended as an announcement of the arrival of the time of fajr, there will be no problem in it.
Q 113. Some individuals have started, with the aim of announcing prayer time arrival, to say adhān in groups in public places. All praise be to Allah! This activity has had a great effect in preventing overt corruption in the area and in encouraging people, especially the youth, towards the timely performance of prayers. However, someone has stated that this action is not specifically mentioned in the sources of Islamic law, and therefore it is an innovation. This statement has caused some doubt. What is your esteemed opinion?
A. Reciting adhān (declaring the beginning of the time of prayer) at the beginning of the times of daily obligatory prayers and its repetition by the listeners are among the most highly mustaḥabb actions in the viewpoint of shar‘. There is no problem in saying the adhān in a group form around public places as long as it does not lead to obstruction of the way or harassment of others.
Q 114. Since saying adhān loudly is a religio-political act which involves a great reward, the believers decided to do so on the roofs of their houses without using a loudspeaker at the time of obligatory prayer, particularly the morning prayers. What is the rule of such an action in case of objection by some neighbors?
A. There is no problem in saying the adhān in a conventional form on the roofs of houses.
Q 115. What is the rule with respect to relaying the special programs of saḥar in the holy month of Ramadan through the masjid’s loudspeakers so that everyone hears it?
A. There is no problem in doing so in areas where most people are awake during the nights of the holy month of Ramadan for reciting the Holy Qur’an and supplications, attending religious ceremonies and so on. But if it annoys the masjid’s neighbors, it will be impermissible.
Q 116. Is it allowed in masjids and other centers to broadcast Qur’anic verses before morning adhān and supplications after with such a very loud volume that it is heard from a distance of several kilometers, given that this occasionally continues for more than half an hour?
A. There is no problem in broadcasting the adhān in a usual and common way by means of a loudspeaker to announce the beginning of the time of morning prayer. But there is no shar‘ī justification for, and rather there is a problem in, broadcasting Qur’anic verses, supplication, and the likes at any time using a loudspeaker in the masjid when it annoys the neighbors.
Q 117. Is it permissible for a man to suffice, for his prayer, with the adhān of a woman?
A. It is problematic for him to suffice with her adhān.
Q 118. What is your esteemed opinion on the third testimony for the master of believers, Imam Ali (a.), as being the commander and the leader, in the adhān and iqāmah of obligatory prayers?
A. Saying “Ashhadu anna ‘Aliyyan Waliyyullāh” in adhān and iqāmah with the intention of being a symbol for the Shī‘ah school of thought is good and important and it should be said only for the sake of nearness to Allah, but it is not a part of adhān and iqāmah.
Q 119. I have been suffering from back pain for a long time which sometimes becomes so severe that it prevents me from praying while standing. Taking into consideration that if I want to perform my prayer at its beginning time, I will be compelled to do it in a sitting position, while if I wait, it may be possible for me to pray it at the end of its specific time in standing position, what is my duty in this situation?
A. If there is a likelihood that you will be able to offer your prayer standing late in its time, it is an obligatory caution that you must wait until that time. But if you had performed your prayer sitting at the beginning of its time due to an excuse that continues until end of the time, your prayer is correct and you do not have to repeat it. However, if you are not able to pray in a standing position early during prayer time and you are sure that this excuse will continue until the time ends but it disappears and praying in standing position becomes possible before the time expiration, you are obliged to repeat your prayer standing.
Recitation [of the Fātiḥah and the Other Chapter] and its Rules
Q 120. What is the rule regarding the prayers in which our recitation of al-Fātiḥah and the other chapter is not loud?
A. It is obligatory for men to recite the chapter the Fātiḥah and the other chapter loudly in the morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers, and their prayer is void if they intentionally recite them quietly, but if they do so unintentionally or out of ignorance, their prayer is correct.
Q 121. While performing the qaḍā’ of morning prayer, should the ‘recitation’ be done loudly or quietly?
A. It is obligatory to recite the Fātiḥah and the other chapter loudly in morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers whether the prayers are performed on time or later and at all times even if their qaḍā’ is being performed during the day. If one intentionally and knowingly does not recite them loudly, his prayer is void.
Q 122. We know that each prayer consists of intention, takbīrah al-iḥrām, the Fātiḥah, the other chapter, rukū‘, and prostration. On the other hand, it is obligatory to recite quietly the noon and afternoon prayers, the third rak‘ah of the maghrib, and the last two rak‘ahs of ‘ishā’ prayers. However, in the Radio and the TV, the dhikrs of rukū‘ and prostration of the third rak‘ah are read loudly. Given that these rukū‘ and prostration are parts of a rak‘ah in which quiet recitation is obligatory, what is the rule regarding this matter?
A. The obligation of loud recitation in maghrib, ‘ishā’ and morning prayers and of quiet recitation in the noon and afternoon prayers are limited to the recitation of the Fātiḥah and the other chapter, just as the obligation of quiet recitation in the rak‘ahs other than the first two rak‘ahs of maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers applies only to the recitation of the Fātiḥah or the tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah of those rak‘ahs. As for the dhikrs of rukū‘ and prostration and also tashahhud and salām and other obligatory dhikrs of the five daily prayers, the mukallaf has the choice to recite in either way, loudly or quietly.
Q123. If someone wants to perform, in addition to the seventeen daily rak‘ahs, another seventeen rak‘ahs of qaḍā’ prayers by way of caution, will it be obligatory for him to recite loudly or quietly in the first two rak‘ahs of morning, maghrib, and ‘ishā’ prayers?
A. With respect to the obligation of loud or quiet recitation in daily prayers, there is no difference between adā’ or qaḍā’ prayers even when their qaḍā’ is performed by way of caution.
Q 124. We know that the word "ṣalāt" [prayer] ends with "t" but in adhān it is said: "ḥayya ‘alaṣṣalāh" [hurry up for prayer] ending with "h". Is this correct?
A. There is no problem in ending the word "ṣalāt" with "h" while stopping at the end of the word. Rather, it is obligatory.
Q 125. Given that, in his commentary on the blessed chapter of the Fātiḥah, Imam Khomeini (q.) prefers the word "malik" over "mālik" is it correct to pronounce the word in both ways while reciting this holy chapter in obligatory and non-obligatory prayers for the sake of caution?
A. There is no problem in observing caution in this respect.
Q 126. Is it correct to stop, without immediate transfer to the rest of the sentence, after reciting "ghayr il-maghḍūbi ‘alayhim", and then start reading "Wa laḍ-ḍāllīn"? And is it correct, while reciting "Allāhumma ṣalli ‘alā Muhammad wa āli Muhammad" in tashahhud, to stop after the word "Muhammad" (s.) and then to continue by reciting "wa āli Muhammad"?
A. It does not harm as long as it does not reach the point of disturbing the integrity of the sentence.
Q 127. The following question had been directed to Imam Khomeini (q.): “Considering that there are several opinions on the pronunciation of the Arabic letter ‘Ḍād’ in the science of tajwīd, what is your view?” Imam replied: “It is not obligatory to know the points of articulation of letters according to the opinions of tajwīd experts; rather, one should pronounce every letter in a way that it is considered correct according to the common view of the Arabs.”
My question is:
i) What is the meaning of the phrase “that it is considered correct according to the common view of the Arabs”? And is it not correct that the rules of tajwīd — like Arabic grammar rules — have been derived from the Arabs’ usage of the language? If so, how could the two be separated from one another?
ii) If someone is sure — based on a reliable method — that he does not pronounce or articulate the letters correctly and he has the ability and opportunity to learn this science, would it be obligatory for him to learn the proper pronunciation as much as possible?
A. The standard for correct pronunciation is its compliance with the way the native speakers, from whom the rules of tajwīd have been derived, pronounce the letters when they read. Therefore, if a difference of opinions among scholars of tajwīd as to what constitutes the correct pronunciation stems from a difference in understanding of how native readers recite, the practice of the native readers itself will be the standard. But if the difference of opinion stems from the actual diversity of their method of pronunciation, the mukallaf may choose the opinion he wishes to follow. The person, who thinks that his recitation is incorrect, is obliged, as far as he can, to learn the correct recitation of the Qur’an.
Q 128. Someone had the intention of reciting the Fātiḥah and Ikhlās chapters at the beginning or is accustomed to reciting them. However, he happened to recite the basmalah and forgot to specify the chapter. Should he intend a specific chapter and then recite the basmalah?
A. It is not obligatory for him to repeat the basmalah. Rather, he can consider the basmalah that he already recited sufficient for any chapter he wants to recite afterwards.
Q 129. In obligatory prayers, is it necessary to pronounce all the words properly? Can a prayer be considered correct when the words are not pronounced correctly in the Arabic language?
A. It is necessary to pronounce all the obligatory dhikrs of prayer including the Fātiḥah, the other chapter, and other parts correctly. If a praying person does not know the correct pronunciation, it is obligatory for him to learn it. However, if he is unable to learn, he is excused.
Q 130. Does the word ‘reading’ also apply to the recitation of words in one’s heart without uttering them?
A. ‘Reading’ does not apply to this and expressing the words in a way that can be called ‘reading’ is obligatory in prayers.
Q 131. According to the opinion of some commentators of the Qur’an a number of its chapters, such as “Fīl” and “Quraysh”, and “Inshirāḥ” and “Ḍuḥā”, are not considered complete chapters. They believe that whoever reads the chapter “Fīl,” he should certainly read the chapter “Quraysh,” and the same rule applies to chapters “Inshirāḥ” and “Ḍuḥā” that should be read together. If someone reads the “Fīl” or “Inshirāḥ” chapter alone in prayer and does not know this rule, what will his duty be?
A. The previous prayers are correct if he was not negligent in learning the rule.
Q 132. If someone inadvertently reads the Fātiḥah and another chapter in the third rak‘ah of noon prayer, for example, and notices his mistake after finishing the prayer; will it be obligatory for him to repeat that prayer? And if he does not even notice his mistake, will his prayer be correct?
A. In the given case, the prayer is correct.
Q 133. Can women recite the Fātiḥah and the other chapter of the morning, maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers loudly?
A. They can recite them loudly or quietly. But if a non-maḥram hears their voice, it is preferable for them to recite quietly.
Q 134. According to Imam Khomeini (q.) the criterion for reciting quietly in the noon and afternoon prayers is avoidance of jahr [loud] recitation. Given that all Arabic letters, except ten of them, are jahr letters, if we have to pray the noon and the afternoon with quiet recitation, then what will happen to the eighteen jahr letters? Please explain the rule.
A. The criterion in ikhfāt [quiet recitation] is not to forsake the voice’s substance but to avoid expressing it; in contrast to jahr which means expression of the voice’s substance (1).
Q 135. How could foreigners, whether men or women, who embrace Islam and are not familiar with Arabic language perform their religious duties, including prayers, etc.? And basically, is there any need to learn Arabic in this case or not?
A. It is obligatory to learn takbīrah al-iḥrām, the Fātiḥah, another chapter, tashahhud, and salām of prayer, and also everything for which Arabic recitation is a condition.
Q 136. Is there any proof for the opinion that mustaḥabb prayers of loud prayers should be recited loudly? What about quiet recitation of mustaḥabb prayers pertaining to the quietly recited prayers? If yes, suppose that a mustaḥabb prayer which belongs to a loud prayer, for instance, is recited quietly. Will it be correct? What about the reverse case? We would appreciate your kind reply.
A. It is mustaḥabb to recite the mustaḥabb prayers of loud obligatory prayers loudly and those of quiet ones quietly. If they are recited otherwise they are also correct.
Q 137. Is it obligatory in prayer to recite a whole chapter after the Fātiḥah or does it suffices to read a part of the Noble Qur’an? And in the former case, is it permissible to recite some Qur’anic verses after the chapter?
A. In daily obligatory prayers, one should – by obligatory caution – recite one complete chapter after the Fātiḥah and recitation of some verses of the Noble Qur’an does not substitute for the recitation of a whole chapter. However, reading some verses of the Glorious Qur’an after the recitation of a whole chapter with the intention of reading Qur’an is no problem.
Q 138. If someone makes some mistake — due to his negligence or accent — in the recitation of the Fātiḥah and the other chapter, or in the pronunciation of the vowels, for example, ‘yūlid’ instead of ‘yūlad,’ what will be the rule of such a prayer?
A. If he makes this mistake intentionally, his prayer is void and if he is a blameworthy ignorant person (who can learn it), his prayer is – by obligatory caution - void; otherwise, it is correct. Of course, if one had read his previous prayers like that believing that they were correct, doing their qaḍā’ is not obligatory.
Q 139. Someone is thirty-five or forty years old. His parents did not teach him how to perform prayers. Although he is illiterate, he tried to learn how to say prayers in a correct way. The problem is that he cannot express the prayer’s words and dhikrs in a correct manner. Moreover, he is not able to pronounce some of its words at all. Are his prayers correct?
A. His prayers are correct if he recites what he is able to.
Q 140. I used to pronounce the words of prayers in the way I had learned from my parents and in secondary school. After a while, I found out that I had been pronouncing some words in a wrong manner. Is it obligatory for me — according to the fatwā of Imam Khomeini (q.) — to repeat the prayers? Or are all prayers that I performed in that way correct?
A. In the mentioned case, all your previous prayers are correct and you do not have to repeat or make them up in qaḍā’.
Q 141. Are the prayers performed in gesture by a dumb person, whose senses function properly despite his inability to speak, correct?
A. His prayers are correct and valid in the mentioned case.
(1) ‘Jahr’ has two meanings. What is mentioned here is jahr in talking/recitation, while as far as jahr letters are concerned, it is equal to the word ‘voice’ in phonetics, i.e. a sound produced by vibration of the vocal cords, used in the pronunciation of vowels and certain consonants.
Dhikr of Prayer
Q 142. Does intentionally changing the dhikr of rukū‘ for that of the prostration and vice versa make any problem?
A. If they are recited as a general dhikr of Allah, then there will be no problem and the rukū‘, prostration, and prayer are all correct.
Q 143. If a person mistakenly recites the dhikr of prostration while in rukū‘, or conversely says the dhikr of rukū‘ in prostration, and realizes his mistake and corrects himself immediately, will his prayer be void?
A. No, there is no problem and his prayer is correct.
Q 144. What is the ruling in the case of a person who realizes after his prayer, or during it, that the dhikr of rukū’ or prostration was incorrect?
A. If he has passed the point, that he remembers it after rukū’ or prostration, there is no problem.
Q 145. Does it suffice to recite the tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah just once in the third and fourth rak‘ah of prayer?
A. Yes; although it is a caution to recite them three times.
Q 146. The tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah are recited three times in prayer, but if a person by mistake recites them four times, will his prayer be accepted by Allah?
A. There is no problem in it.
Q 147. What is the ruling in the case of a person who does not know whether he has recited the tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah three times or more or less in the third and fourth rak‘ahs of prayer?
A. Just once is sufficient, and nothing is obligatory for him. And if he has not yet been in rukū‘ state, then he may assume the lesser number and repeat them until becomes confident about saying them three times.
Q 148. Is it allowed to say "Biḥawlillāhi wa Quwwatihī Aqūmu wa Aq‘ud”... in prayer while one is moving? And is it correct to say it while getting up?
A. There is no problem in it. Indeed, the above-mentioned dhikr is essentially recited while rising for the next rak‘ah of prayer.
Q 149. What is meant by the term ‘dhikr’? And does it include the ṣalawāt upon the Prophet (s.) and his progeny (a.)?
A. All expressions containing the remembrance of Allah are counted as dhikr; and the ṣalawāt upon Muhammad (s.) and the progeny of Muhammad (a.) is one of the best dhikrs. However, obligatory dhikr in rukū‘ is to say subḥāna rabbīal 'azīmi wa biḥamdih once or three subḥānallāh and that in prostration is subḥāna rabbīal 'alā wa biḥamdih or three subḥānallāh. Instead, one may say other dhikrs like alḥamdu lillāh, allāhu akbar in the same amount.
Q 150. In watr prayer [the one-rak‘ah prayer included in night prayer] when we raise our hands for qunūt and ask Allah for our needs, is it wrong if we ask for them in Persian?
A. No, there is nothing wrong in supplicating in qunūt in Persian. Moreover, in qunūt one can supplicate in any language.
Rules of Prostration
Q 151. What is the ruling on performing prostration and tayammum on cement or concrete tiles?
A. There is no problem in doing prostration, and tayammum on it, although it is a caution to refrain from doing tayammum on cement and concrete tiles.
Q 152. In prayer, is it incorrect to place one’s hands on perforated floor tiles?
A. No, there is no problem in it.
Q 153. Is there any problem in using, for prostration, a turbah blackened and dirty in such a way that the stain covering it obstructs the forehead from touching the turbah?
A. If the stain on it is so much as to form a barrier between the forehead and the turbah, the prostration is void and so is the prayer.
Q 154. If a woman does prostration on a turbah while her forehead (the place of prostration in particular) is covered by her ḥijāb; is it obligatory for her to repeat this prayer?
A. If she was not aware of the obstacle during her prostration, then it is not necessary to repeat the prayer.
Q 155. A woman after putting her head on the turbah realizes that her forehead is not in complete contact with it due to her scarf or the like. So she raises her head and places it again after having removed the hindrance. What is the ruling on this issue? Moreover, if this last action of hers is counted as a separate prostration, then what becomes of the prayers that she has done (in this manner)?
A. It is obligatory to reposition the forehead until contact is made with the turbah without raising the head from the ground. Now if she raised the forehead — to put it again on the turbah — absent-mindedly or out of ignorance and she did so only in one of the two prostrations of each rak‘ah, then her prayer is correct and there is no need to repeat it. But if the action was done on purpose and knowingly or it was done in both prostrations of a single rak‘ah, then her prayer is void and it is obligatory for her to repeat it.
Q 156. While performing prostration it is obligatory to place the seven body parts of prostration on the ground. But we are not able to do this due to our particular physical problem (as disabled veterans who use wheelchairs). So for the purpose of prayer we either raise the turbah to our forehead or place the turbah on the arm of our chair and perform prostration on it. Is this practice correct?
A. If it is possible for you to place the turbah on the arm of the wheelchair or a similar place of the chair and do prostration upon it, then do so and your prayers will be correct. If this is not possible, then do it in any possible manner, even through signs and gestures for rukū‘ and prostration.
Q 157. What is the rule of performing prostration on marble (with which the yard of some sacred shrines is paved)?
A. There is no problem in performing prostration on marble.
Q 158. What is ‘the ruling on placing toes on the ground in addition to the big toe while doing prostration?
A. There is no problem in it.
Q 159. Recently a turbah for prayers has been manufactured that it counts the rak‘ahs and prostrations for the person praying and it removes doubt to some degree. Please clear the matter for us with your opinion, considering that when the forehead is placed on it, it moves down a little due to the presence of a metal spring beneath it. Is it correct to do prostration on it?
A. If it is made of a material upon which it is correct to do prostration and after putting the forehead on it and pressing it down, it comes to a stable position, there is no problem in performing prostration on it.
Q 160. Which foot should we place upon the other while sitting down after prostration?
A. It is mustaḥabb to sit on the left thigh and place the right foot on the sole of the left foot.
Q 161. What is the best dhikr to recite after the obligatory dhikrs of prostration and rukū‘?
A. The repetition of the same obligatory dhikr is the best and it is preferable for it to end in an odd number (of reciting the dhikr). In addition it is mustaḥabb in prostration to say "Allāhumma ṣalli ‘alā Muhammad wa āli Muhammad" and to supplicate concerning the needs of this world and that of the hereafter.
Q 162. What is one’s shar‘ī duty upon listening to a verse that requires prostration when the reciter is not present, as from a radio, TV or recording instrument?
A. In the given case making prostration is obligatory.
Things that Invalidate Prayer
Q 163. Does testimony concerning the wilāyah of the Commander of the Faithful, Imam Ali (a), in the tashahhud invalidate the prayers?
A. The prayer including the tashahhud should be recited in such a way that our great marji‘s of taqlīd (May Allah increase them) mentioned within their books of Practical Laws of Islam and one should not add anything to it even if it is a true and correct phrase.
Q 164. A person is afflicted with riyā’ in his worship and he is now struggling with his self to overcome this riyā’. Is this also counted as a form of riyā’? How can he keep away from riyā’?
A. Any action done for Allah including fighting against riyā’ is not considered riyā’. To get rid of riyā’ one must think of the greatness of Almighty Allah, the weakness of his own self and his and others’ dependence on Allah, and his and their subservience to Him, the Exalted.
Q 165. When attending congregational prayers with the Sunnī brothers, the word “āmmīn” is pronounced loudly after the imam finishes reciting the Fātiḥah. What is the ruling on this?
A. If dissimulation requires saying “āmmīn” in the said situation, there is no problem in it; otherwise, it is not permissible.
Q 166. In our obligatory prayers is it allowed to say some of the words of the Fātiḥah, of another chapter or a dhikr in a loud voice in order to warn a child who is doing something dangerous or to make the occupants of the house aware of the situation so that they may remove the danger? In addition, what is the status of the person’s prayers during which he, through gestures of the hand or raising of the eyebrows, informs another person of something or answers his question?
A. If the raising of the voice when reciting a verse or dhikr (for the purpose of warning others) does not cause one to lose the status of being in prayer, then there is no objection to doing so, on condition that the recitation and the dhikr are done with the intention of recitation and dhikr. If moving the hand, eyebrows or eye is brief and does not ruin the necessary composure and stillness or the prescribed form of the prayers, it would not lead to invalidation of the prayer.
Q 167. Does it invalidate the prayers if a person laughs in the middle of his prayers upon recalling a joke or due to a humorous event?
A. The prayer will be invalid if the laughter is intentional and loud (guffaw).
Q 168. Does the passing of hands over the face [wiping] after the qunūt invalidate the prayer? And in case of its being void is it also considered to be a sin?
A. It is makrūh, but it does not invalidate the prayer.
Q 169. Is it allowed to close one’s eyes during prayers? (Because, keeping them open distracts one’s attention from the prayers.)
A. There is no shar‘ī problem in shutting eyes during prayer, although it is makrūh to do so in other than rukū‘.
Q 170. During my prayers I sometimes recall the spiritual heights and elevations that I experienced on the days of confrontation with the infidel Ba‘thist army and this helps me to increase my humility in prayers; does doing so invalidate the prayers?
A. It does not harm the validity of the prayer.
Q 171. Are the prayers invalid during the first three days in which two persons have quarreled, and broken ties? Does the same hold for fasting?
A. No, disagreement and enmity between two people invalidate neither the prayers nor the fasting, although it is disliked in shar‘.
Rules of Greeting in Prayers
Q 172. What is your opinion with regards to answering a greeting that is not in the form of "al-salām ..."?
A. It is not permissible to reply to it during prayer, but if he is not in prayer then it is closer to caution to return the greeting when it is oral and is considered to be a greeting by common view.
Q 173. Is it obligatory to respond to the greeting of children whether boys or girls?
A. It is obligatory to reply to the salām of children (male and female) who can distinguish right from wrong in the same way as it is obligatory to do so in response to men and women.
Q 174. A person was greeted with the salām but did not reply due to inattention or some other reason so that a short span of time passed, is it still obligatory for him to respond to it?
A. If the delay is of such a length that a reply is no longer considered a reply (to the greeting), then it is not obligatory.
Q 175. A person enters upon a group of people and salutes them with the words "al-salāmu alaykum jamī‘an (peace be upon all of you)". If one of the people in the group is praying, is it obligatory for him to answer the salutation even though someone else in the group has already replied to the greeting?
A. If someone has already done so, the praying person should not respond.
Q 176. If someone is greeted repeatedly with the salām, whether by one person or by many people at the same time, is it sufficient for him to reply once for all these greetings?
A. In the first instance a single reply is sufficient. In the second, one reply in the plural form (with the intention of answering all their greetings) would suffice.
Q 177. What is the religious duty of a person who realizes after a number of years that his worship was invalid, or doubts its correctness?
A. Doubts after the performance of a deed are ignored. In case, he is certain of its invalidity, he must perform the qaḍā’ of what is possible.
Doubt in Prayers
Q 178. A person in the third rak‘ah of his prayer doubts whether he has performed the qunūt or not. What should they do? Should he complete the prayer or should he break it when the doubt occurs?
A. The doubt should be ignored. His prayer is correct and there is no obligation upon him in this case.
Q 179. Should a person pay heed to doubts that occur in nāfilah prayers (other than the doubt concerning the number of performed rak‘ahs)? For example, he is unaware whether he has done one prostration or two.
A. The rule of doubts in the words and deeds of nāfilah prayer is the same as those of obligatory prayers, i.e. the doubt is heeded if its pertinent place has not passed, and is ignored after that.
Q 180. Knowing that those who doubt excessively are not to pay heed to their doubts, what are they to do if the doubts occur during prayer?
A. They must posit the occurrence of the act which they doubt unless doing so would lead to the invalidation of their prayers, in which case they must hold the opposite to be true. There is no difference whether the doubt is with regard to the number of rak‘ahs, the words or acts of prayer.
Q 181. What is the religious duty of a person who realizes after a number of years that his worship was invalid, or doubts its correctness?
A. Doubts after the performance of a deed are ignored. In case he is certain of its invalidity, he must perform the qaḍā’ of what is possible.
Q 182. Does the prayer of a person become void if he mistakenly performs some parts of his prayer in the place of other parts, or looks away at some point during the prayer, or speaks by mistake?
A. Unintentional acts in prayer do not bring about its invalidation. In some cases they call for the performance of two prostrations of inadvertence. But, of course, the prayers are invalid if additions are made to the rukns of the prayer or if some are left out.
Q 183. What is the duty of a person who forgets to perform a rak‘ah of his prayer and then remembers it in the last rak‘ah? For example, thinking first rak‘ah of his prayer to be the second one, he performs the third and the fourth rak‘ah; then in this last rak‘ah he realizes that it is really only the third rak‘ah. What should he do?
A. It is obligatory for him before reciting the final salām of the prayer to perform the rak‘ah he has missed and then to recite the salām. As he had not done an obligatory tashahhud in its proper place, it will be obligatory for him to perform two prostrations of inadvertence and to perform one qaḍā’ tashahhud prior to them, based on a caution.
Q 184. How can a person know the number of rak‘ahs of caution prayers he is liable to perform? (That is whether it is one rak‘ah or two).
A. The number of rak‘ahs of caution prayers corresponds to the number of rak‘ahs that he may have missed in the obligatory prayer. So when it is doubted whether two rak‘ahs were performed or four, then it becomes necessary to perform a two-rak‘ah prayer of caution. However, if he doubts whether he prayed three or four rak‘ahs, then a one-rak‘ah prayer of caution must be done in standing position or a two-rak‘ah one in sitting position.
Q 185. Do two prostrations of inadvertence become obligatory if a word of the dhikrs of the prayer, of the verses of the Holy Qur’an, or of the supplication of qunūt is mistakenly recited?
A. No, it is not obligatory.
Q 186. I was about seventeen years old and I did not know anything concerning seminal emission, ghusl, and the like. I had not even heard from anyone anything about these things. I did not understand the meaning of janābah or the necessity of ghusl. So if my prayers and fasts until that time were wrong, what is my duty now?
A. It is obligatory to do qaḍā’ of all the prayers that you did in the state of janābah. However, the fasts that you kept in this state without knowing any thing about the state of janābah are correct and sufficient, and there is no need to do their qaḍā’.
Q 187. Unfortunately, due to my ignorance and lack of will power I had got into the evil habit of masturbation, and so I did not perform prayers at times. But I do not know how long I abandoned prayers, as it was not one continuous period (I would not have prayed when I was junub until I took ghusl, although it may have been delayed for a while), but I think that it lasted for six months. I have made up my mind to perform the qaḍā’ of my prayers for this period. Is it obligatory to perform qaḍā’ of these prayers?
A. You must perform the qaḍā’ of all daily prayers that you know you did not perform or you performed while you were junub.
Q 188. Some people do not know whether qaḍā’ prayers are due on them on not. Assuming that they are really responsible for some qaḍā’ prayers, are their mustaḥabb or nāfilah prayers considered as qaḍā’ prayers?
A. Nāfilah and mustaḥabb prayers do not count as qaḍā’ prayers and if any qaḍā’ prayers are due upon someone then they must perform them with the intention of qaḍā’ prayers.
Q 189. It has been about six months since I reached the age of shar‘ī puberty. Up until some weeks before my age of shar‘ī puberty I was under the impression that there was only one sign of ritual maturity, i.e. the completion of fifteen lunar years. Then I happened to read a book which spoke of the signs of maturity for boys. I read there of other signs of maturity which I really possessed but do not know the date of their occurrence. So, do I now have to perform the qaḍā’ of my prayers and fasts? Taking into consideration that I would sometimes perform prayers and that I fasted the whole of Ramadan last year, what is the ruling in this case?
A. It is obligatory to perform the qaḍā’ of all the prayers and fasts that you are certain you missed after becoming ritually mature.
Q 190. If a person performs janābah ghusl three times in the month of Ramadan, say for example, on the twentieth, twenty-fifth and twenty-seventh of the month, and afterwards becomes certain that one of these ghusls was incorrect, what is the ruling with respect to his prayers and his fast?
A. His fast is correct, but it is based on caution that he must perform the qaḍā’ of some prayers so that one becomes certain that he has discharged his obligations.
Q 191. What is the ruling on the prayers and fasts of a person who for some time, due to ignorance of the ruling, did not observe the proper order in performing his ghusl?
A. If he was performing his ghusl in a manner which is void according to Islamic law, he would be obliged to do qaḍā’ of all his prayers that he prayed without ghusl. But regarding fasts, if he thought that his ghusl was correct, his fasts are ruled to be correct.
Q 192. How should one perform the qaḍā’ prayers of one year?
A. He must start with one of the prayers and perform it in the same sequence as he performs the five daily prayers.
Q 193. If a person has a lot of qaḍā’ prayers due on him, is it permissible for him to perform them in the following manner:
i. To perform morning prayers, say twenty times;
ii. The noon and afternoon prayers, twenty times;
ii. maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers, twenty times, continuing in this way for a year?
A. There is no problem in performing the qaḍā’ prayers in the manner described.
Q 194. Someone’s head was injured causing damage to a part of his brain. As a result, his left hand and foot as well as his tongue were paralyzed. Moreover, he has forgotten how to pray and is not able to learn it either. But he can make out the different parts of prayers by following a book or by listening to a tape. Presently, he is faced with two problems with respect to his prayers. First, he is not able to make his urinary outlet pure or to perform wuḍū’. Second, he has a difficulty with recitation in prayers. What is the ruling in this case? And what about the prayers he has not performed over the last six months?
A. If he is able to do wuḍū’ even with the help of somebody else, or to do tayammum, then it is obligatory for him to perform his prayers in anyway he is able to, even if he has to listen to a tape, or look at a book, or whatever it may be. As for the missed prayers it is obligatory for him to perform their qaḍā’ unless he was unconscious and the unconsciousness took all the time of the prayer.
Q 195. In my youth I missed my noon and afternoon prayers more than maghrib, ‘ishā’ and morning prayers. But I do not know their number, order or sequence. Should I perform dawr prayers in this case? What are dawr prayers? Please clarify this matter for me.
A. It is not necessary – in other than noon and afternoon prayers and maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers of the same day - to observe the order, and it is enough to perform as many prayers as you are certain you have missed. Dawr, i.e. repetition of the prayers to ascertain their performance in order, is not obligatory for you.
Q 196. After marriage, I occasionally experienced emissions of a liquid which I thought to be najis, and therefore, performed janābah ghusl having its intent in mind and then offered prayers without performing wuḍū’. This liquid is called madhi in the books on practical laws of Islam, and now, I do not know the rule regarding the prayers I performed without wuḍū’ but with janābah ghusl while I was not junub?
A. It is obligatory to make up for all of the prayers which you offered without wuḍū’ but with janābah ghusl after experiencing the liquid’s emission.
Q 197. A non-Muslim converts to Islam after a period of time, is it obligatory for them to make up for the prayers and fasts they missed?
A. it is not obligatory.
Q 198. Due to misguiding propaganda of communists, some people did not perform their prayers and other obligatory duties for some years. But, after reading Imam Khomeini’s letter to the leaders of the USSR, they repented. Now they are not able to make up for their missed obligations. What is the rule regarding them?
A. It is obligatory for them to make up for the missed obligatory prayers and fasts as much as possible and to make a will for those whose qaḍā’ they are not able to perform.
Q 199. A person died while he had to perform the qaḍā’ of some fasts of Ramadan and some prayers. He has no son. However, he left behind a certain amount of wealth. If this wealth is spent for the performance of the qaḍā’ of his missed fasts, the qaḍā’ of his prayers will remain outstanding and vise versa. In this situation, which one of the two should be given priority over the other?
A. None of the fasts and the prayers has any priority. It is not obligatory for the heirs to spend his wealth for making qaḍā’ of his fasts and prayers unless he left a will that someone is hired, out of the one third of his wealth, to perform of his qaḍā’ prayers and fasts as much as 1/3 of his wealth can afford.
Q 200. Most often I offered my prayers and performed the qaḍā’ of those which I missed either because I was asleep during their times or my body and clothes were najis and I failed to clean them due to laziness. Now, how could I calculate the number of the missed daily, āyāt, and shortened prayers due on me?
A. It suffices to perform qaḍā’ of the missed prayers as much as you are certain about. Out of this number, perform that number of shortened and āyāt prayers that you are certain about and offer the remaining as daily prayers. There is nothing else obligatory for you.
Qaḍā’ Prayers of the Parents
Q 201. My father had a brain stroke. As a result, he remained ill for two years and was unable to distinguish between good and bad. That is to say, he lost his mental senses. During this two year period, he was not able to perform his prayers or fasts. Since I am the family’s eldest son, is it obligatory for me to perform his missed prayers and fasts? Of course, I know that if he were fine, it would be obligatory for me to perform those missed prayers. I would appreciate your advice in this regard.
A. If his mental defect did not reach the level of insanity and he was not unconscious through out the whole time of prayers, you would be obliged to make qaḍā’ of his missed prayers and fasts, otherwise there is nothing obligatory for you.
Q 202. Who should give the kaffārah for missed fasts of a person after he dies? Is it obligatory for the sons and daughters of the deceased person to give the kaffārah or could somebody else give it as well?
A. With respect to the kaffārah of missed fasts that was due on the father, if he could have the choice between fasting or feeding, the kaffārah should be taken out of the wealth he has left if possible; otherwise, the fasting – by obligatory caution - rests with the eldest son.
Q 203. An elderly man left his family due to certain reasons and it is difficult for him to contact them. He is the eldest son of his parents. During that period, his father passed away and the son is unaware of the number of prayers and other duties his father might have missed. He does not have enough money to hire somebody to perform those missed duties for his father either. Nor does he have the ability to perform them himself due to his elderliness. What should he do?
A. It is not obligatory to do qaḍā’ of the missed prayers of the father except the amount the oldest son knows for sure have been missed. It is obligatory for the eldest son to perform his father’s missed prayers by any means possible. If he is unable to do so even through hiring another person to perform them, he is excused.
Q 204. If the eldest child of a deceased person is a female and his/her second child is male, is it obligatory for this son to perform the missed prayers and fasts of the mother and the father?
A. The criterion is that the male son being the eldest among the sons, if the father has any son. As for the assumption in question, it is obligatory for the son, i.e. the father’s second child, to perform the missed prayers and fasts of his father and – by obligatory caution - those of her mother.
Q 205. If the eldest son — whether mature or not — dies before his father, will it become obligatory for any of the other sons to perform the missed prayers of his father?
A. The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts is obligatory for the eldest son who is alive when his father dies, even if he is not the father’s first child or son.
Q 206. I am the eldest son of the family. Is it obligatory for me to investigate and acquire information from my father about his missed prayers so that I can perform them for him? Or should he inform me of the numbers outstanding and if he does not, what will my duty be?
A. It is not obligatory for you to investigate, but it is obligatory for the father to perform them while he is alive or, if he could not, to specify it in his will. In any case, it is a duty of the eldest son, after the father’s death, to perform fasts and prayers he is certain his father missed.
Q 207. Someone dies while owning only a house where his children live and he has some missed prayers and fasts to perform. His oldest son cannot do so for him because of his daily occupations, is it obligatory to sell the house and have his missed prayers and fasts performed?
A. In the given case, it is not obligatory to sell the house. But the performance of the missed prayers and fasting, which were obligatory for the father, is the duty of his eldest son in all cases except if the deceased person ordered in his will that someone be hired by the third of his estate for that purpose and that amount is sufficient for all of the prayers and fasts that are obligatory for him. In this case, it will be obligatory to spend one third of the property left for this purpose.
Q 208. If the eldest son who had the obligation to offer his father’s missed prayers dies, will this obligation pass on to the eldest son’s inheritor or to the grandfather’s second eldest son (the brother of the eldest son)?
A. The performance of the father’s missed prayers and fasts, which were obligatory for his eldest son, will not become obligatory for the latter’s son or brother upon his death after that of his father.
Q 209. In case a father never performed any prayer, will his prayers be considered as all missed and obligatory for his eldest son to offer?
A. It is based on obligatory caution that doing their qaḍā’ is obligatory.
Q 210. If a father forsakes all of his worship duties intentionally, will it be obligatory for his eldest son to perform all of the prayers and fasts his father missed over 50 years?
A. In this case, it is a caution to perform their qaḍā’ as well.
Q 211. If the eldest son already has the obligation to perform some missed prayers and fasts of his own when the performance of his father’s missed prayers and fasts is also added to his obligations, which one of the two will have priority?
A. He has the choice in this situation; therefore, it is correct for him to start performing either of them.
Q 212. My father has some qaḍā’ prayers due but he cannot offer them and I am the family’s eldest son. Is it permissible — while he is still alive — that I perform his missed prayers or hire someone to perform them?
A. It is not correct to perform the missed prayers and fast on behalf of a living person.
Q 213. What should a congregational prayer imam say in his intention? Should he perform it with the intention of a congregational or individual prayer?
A. If he wants to acquire the benefits and reward of a congregational prayer, then he should have the intention to lead the prayers. However, if he enters the prayers without the intention of leading, then his prayer is correct and there is no problem for others to read their prayers behind him.
Q 214. Because of the work they have at hand, some people do not attend the prayer which is held during working hours at the bases of the armed forces. Knowing that they can do that work later on or even the following day, can this action of them be classified as belittling the prayer?
A. To acquire the merit of offering prayer early at its time and that of the congregational prayer, it is preferable to make a proper arrangement of office hours so that this divine duty could be performed in the form of congregational prayer in the shortest necessary period of time.
Q 215. What is your opinion as regards performing the mustaḥabb actions such as nāfilah prayers, Du‘ā’ Tawassul and other supplications in governmental offices before, after and during prayers? These acts usually take longer time than the actual congregational prayer itself.
A. Any mustaḥabb action which is performed with the congregational prayer would be considered problematic if it becomes a cause for wasting time and delay in the performance of official duties there.
Q 216. Is it permissible to start a second congregational prayer in an area near to another congregational prayer in which a lot of people participate and the sound of its adhān and iqāmah is quite clearly heard?
A. There is no problem in starting a second congregational prayer in such a situation, although it is preferable that the believers come together and attend a single congregational prayer so that the greatness of the congregation can be expressed.
Q 217. What is your rule regarding a person or people who come to a masjid to offer the prayers individually while prayer is being held in congregation?
A. If this act is seen as something which weakens the congregational prayer or leads to disrespect towards its imam or is insulting to him who is considered just the by people, it will not be permissible.
Q 218. There are several masjids in our area and congregational prayer takes place in all of them. There is a house between two masjids. On one side between the house and the masjid there are ten other houses while in the direction of the other masjid, the distance is of only two houses. A congregational prayer takes place in this house also. What is your ruling regarding this congregational prayer?
A. congregational prayer is offered to create unity and closeness not to cause disunity and division. Anyhow the neighboring houses are permitted to start a congregational prayer as long as it does not become a cause of division and conflict.
Q 219. Is an individual allowed to lead congregational prayer without the permission of the appointed Congregational prayer imam who has been appointed by the center which runs the affairs of the masjids?
A. Holding congregational prayer is not dependent on the permission of the permanent congregational prayer imam. However, it is preferable that no one would prevent the imam from leading the prayer at the time of his presence in the masjid. If he is obstructed then that action could be defined as ḥarām if it becomes a cause of division and ignites conflict.
Q 220. Does the justice of the congregational prayer imam become void if he says or makes a joke that is not appropriate for a scholar of Islam?
A. If what he has said does not contravene Islamic law, then it has no effect on his justice.
Q 221. Is one allowed to start to pray behind a congregational prayer imam about whom one has no information and does not know?
A. If he knows — through any shar‘ī means — that the Imam is ‘ādil, it is permissible to pray behind him and the congregational prayer is correct.
Q 222. A person considers another one as just and pious and at the same time considers him as an oppressor because on certain occasion he has oppressed him. So can this person consider the other as ‘ādil in the common sense of the word?
A. Until it is not clear that the person, whom he has considered an oppressor, has done that action knowingly, by choice and without any religious excuse, it is not permissible to label him unjust.
Q 223. Can one pray behind a person who has the ability to enjoin the good and forbid evil but does not?
A. The mere abstention from enjoining people to do good and forbidding them from evil, which in itself could be due to some reasons acceptable for the person who has this duty to perform, neither becomes a cause for invalidating the person’s justice nor does it become an obstacle for others to perform prayer behind that person.
Q 224. What is the meaning of justice in your opinion?
A. It is a psychological state due to which a person always enjoys piety which prevents him from neglecting obligatory duties or doing things forbidden according to Islamic law. To recognize the state of justice, it is sufficient that one sees the apparent goodness of the person.
Q 225. We are a group of youngsters who gather in some religious places and whenever it is time for prayers, we appoint one among ourselves who is ‘ādil and perform prayers behind him. There are some people who confront us and say that according to Imam Khomeini’s ruling, one should not perform his prayer behind a person who is not an Islamic scholar? What is our duty?
A. Whenever an Islamic scholar is available, one should not pray behind one who is not an Islamic scholar.
Q 226. Can a congregational prayer be conducted by two individuals?
A. If you mean that one is the imam and the other is the follower, there is no objection to it.
Q 227. Although it is not obligatory for him, a follower recites the Fātiḥah and another chapter in congregational noon and afternoon prayers so as to better concentrate on his prayers. What is the ruling regarding his prayers?
A. In the prayers which should be said quietly, e.g. the noon and the afternoon prayers, he is not permitted to recite the Fātiḥah and another chapter even if it is to protect oneself from losing his concentration on the prayers.
Q 228. Although he complies with all the regulations of traffic, a congregational prayer imam rides a bicycle to the place of congregational prayer. What is your ruling in this regard?
A. This action harms neither justice nor correctness of leading the congregation.
Q 229. There are times when we attend the congregational prayer and the imam is reciting the tashahhud of the last rak‘ah. Here to get its reward, we can say takbīrah al-iḥrām, sit, recite tashahhud with the imam and stand up when the imam finishes his salām, to start the first rak‘ah. Can we do the same thing in the tashahhud of the second rak‘ah of a four-rak‘ah prayer?
A. The above mentioned procedure is specific to the final rak‘ah of the congregational prayer so that one may acquire the reward of the congregation.
Q 230. Is it permissible for the imam of congregational prayer to receive money for doing preliminaries of congregational prayer?
A. It is no problem.
Q 231. Can an imam say a single prayer — whether an ‘īd or a daily prayer — twice in congregation?
A. As far as the five daily prayers are concerned, he is permitted to perform the same prayer again in congregation but with another group of followers. In fact this is mustaḥabb. However, regarding an ‘īd prayer, there is a problem in doing so.
Q 232. Does a person have to read the Fātiḥah and another chapter loudly when he is doing his second rak‘ah while the imam is in his third or fourth rak‘ah of ‘ishā’ prayer?
A. It is obligatory for him to read them quietly.
Q 233. After the completion of a congregational prayer, the verse which declares ṣalawāt on the Holy Prophet (s.) is recited. After that, the praying persons recite ṣalawāt upon the Holy Prophet (s.) and his Household (a.) three times. After that they say Allāhu Akbar three times and then chant political slogans (in form of supplications) loudly. Is there any problem in this?
A. There is no objection to reading the verse, and saying ṣalawāt for the Noble Prophet Muhammad (s) and his Household (a), rather, it is desirable and yields rewards. Also it is desirable to chant Islamic slogans and that of the Islamic Revolution (i.e. Allāhu-Akbar, etc) which remind all of the messages and aims of the Islamic Revolution.
Q 234. An individual arrives at a masjid when the congregational prayer is in its second rak‘ah. Due to his ignorance of Islamic rules, he does not perform the tashahhud obligatory for him in the following rak‘ah. Is his prayer correct or not?
A. The prayer is correct but he should, by obligatory caution, perform the qaḍā’ of tashahhud. He should also perform the two prostrations of inadvertence as he failed to perform the tashahhud.
Q 235. Does one need to acquire the permission of the person behind whom one wants to pray? Can one perform or start his prayer behind a follower — i.e. a person who is himself being led in the prayer?
A. One does not need the permission of the prayer imam to follow him in the prayer. It is not correct to start one’s prayer behind a follower, while he continues to be a follower.
Q 236. There are two people and between them they select one as the imam and the other follows him in the prayer. A third person enters and starts his prayers behind the one who is following thinking that he is the imam. As soon as the prayer finishes, the third person realizes that the person was not the imam but in fact he was following the imam. What is the rule regarding the prayer of the third person?
A. To start one’s prayer behind someone who is himself following an imam is not correct. However, if one starts his prayer behind such a person due to ignorance but regarding rukū‘ and prostration he fulfills all requirements of one who prays individually, i.e. without increasing or decreasing a rukn intentionally or unintentionally, the prayer is considered correct and valid.
Q 237. Is it correct to perform one’s ‘ishā’ prayer behind one who is performing the maghrib prayer?
A. There is no objection to doing so.
Q 238. Do the prayers of the followers become void when the imam is at a higher position than them?
A. If the place where the imam is standing is so high that it is not permissible in Islamic law, this would invalidate the congregational prayer.
Q 239. One of the lines of congregational prayer was made up completely of people who were travelers (saying shortened prayers) and behind them was a line of people who were saying complete prayers. The former, having finished their prayers after two rak‘ahs, stood up to offer the next prayer, did the prayers of the line behind them remain as congregational prayer or not?
A. In the above situation that they join the congregation immediately, the status of congregational prayer remains intact.
Q 240. Is it permissible for one who is joining at one of the ends of the first line to enter the congregational prayers prior to those between him and the imam?
A. When the followers between that person and the imam are completely ready to enter the prayer after the imam has started his prayer, then that person is permitted to start his congregational prayer.
Q 241. A person joins a congregational prayer in the third rak‘ah. However, he does not read anything, thinking that the imam is in the first. Does this person have to repeat the prayer?
A. If he realizes this before rukū‘, then it will be obligatory for him to recite Fātiḥah and another chapter. If he happens to realize it in rukū‘ or later, then the prayer is correct and there is no need to do anything. Even though, according to the mustaḥabb caution, he may perform two prostrations of inadvertence for missing out the recitation unintentionally.
Q 242. There is a great need for congregational prayer imams to hold congregational prayer in governmental offices, schools, etc. Other than me, there is no scholar in this area. That is why I perform one obligatory prayer several times at different places. All marji‘s have permitted the imam to lead two congregational prayers. Can one lead more congregations with the intention of performing qaḍā’ of possibly missed prayers for caution?
A. It is not correct to lead congregational prayer with the intention of performing of possibly missed qaḍā’ of prayers for caution.
Q 243. A college arranges a congregational prayer for its staff in a building within the complex of the college. It is located next to the town’s masjid and they are fully aware that at the same time there is a congregational prayer held in the masjid. What would the rule be regarding one’s participation in the congregational prayer being conducted in the college?
A. When one maintains that a congregational prayer enjoys the conditions required for following and congregation; he can participate in it, even though it is close to a masjid in which a congregational prayer is held simultaneously.
Q 244. Is it permissible to offer one’s prayer behind a person who is a judge but has not reached the stage of ijtihād?
A. When his performance as a judge is based on an appointment by the person who has the authority to appoint, then there is no objection to saying prayer behind him.
Q 245. What is your rule about a person who follows Imam Khomeini in taqlīd concerning traveling prayer, if he prays, especially Friday prayer, behind an imam who follows another marji‘?
A. The difference in taqlīd does not prevent one from correctly starting his prayer behind someone else. However, it is not correct to offer one’s prayer behind an imam in a prayer which should be offered as shortened according to the follower’s marji‘ while it should be offered completely according to that of the imam or vice versa.
Q 246. What should the follower do if the imam accidentally goes to rukū‘ immediately after saying takbīrah al-iḥrām?
A. If the follower realizes this after entering the congregational prayer, and before going to rukū‘, he should do the intention of offering the prayers individually and then read the Fātiḥah and another chapter.
Q 247. What is the rule regarding congregational prayer of the adult persons who stand after the children standing in the third and fourth lines?
A. In mentioned case, there is no objection to it.
Q 248. A congregational prayer imam performs tayammum in place of janābah ghusl due to an excuse. Is it sufficient for the purpose performing congregational prayer?
A. If his inability is justifiable by Islamic law, then he can perform prayer as imam of congregation with tayammum instead of ghusl. It would also be permissible to start one’s prayer behind such a person.
Rule of Incorrect Recitation by a Congregational Prayer Imam
Q 249. Is there any difference in the ruling regarding the correctness of recitation undertaken by the imam, the followers, or a person praying individually? Or do the rules apply to the cases in the same manner with regards to its correctness?
A. When one’s recitation is not correct and they are not able to improve it, the prayers they perform are correct. However, it is not correct for others to pray behind them.
Q 250. Some imams are unable to pronounce some letters properly. Is it, therefore, correct for a person who can pronounce the letters properly to perform prayer behind them? Some people say that it is possible to recite one’s prayers in congregation. But it is necessary to repeat this prayer individually. However, I do not have the time to repeat these prayers. What is my duty in this situation? Do I have the permission to recite the Fātiḥah and the other chapter quietly while participating in the prayer?
A. If the follower maintains that the imam is not pronouncing properly, then to perform prayer behind him would not be valid and would cause the congregational prayer to be void for him. If the person does not have the ability to repeat the prayer, then there is no problem in not joining the prayer. To read quietly in a prayer which should be recited loudly in order to give the impression that one is joining the congregational prayer is not correct and does not fulfill one’s obligation.
Q 251. Some people suggest that the recitation of some imams is not correct because either they do not pronounce some consonant letters as they are or they alter the related vowels which change the consonant letters as well. Is it correct to offer one’s prayers behind such a person without repeating it?
A. In recitation, the standard is that the words should originate from their appropriate places in such a manner that the native speakers recognize the word and do not confuse it with another. If the followers find that the imam’s pronunciation does not meet the specified standard, they cannot perform prayer behind him. If they perform prayer behind him, then their prayer is not correct and it would be obligatory for them to repeat it.
Q 252. An imam has doubts about the pronunciation of a word after it is said. After he completes the prayer, he realizes that there was in fact an error in its pronunciation. Are the prayers of the followers and that of the imam valid?
A. The prayers are ruled to be correct.
Q 253. What is the religious duty of an individual, especially a teacher of Qur’an, who is certain that as far as tajwīd is concerned the imam reads his prayer wrongly? At times when this person does not participate in the congregational prayer, he is subjected to much slander?
A. Observing the rules which provide betterment of pronunciation is not necessary. But if the follower considers the recitation of imam to be incorrect, and, as a result his prayer is also incorrect, they should not perform prayers behind him. However, there would be no problem with pretending that one is taking part in the prayers for a rational purpose.
Q254. What is the rule about performing prayers behind an imam with paralysis of a leg/hand?
A. It is a caution not to do so.
Congregational Prayer Led by a Person Lacking a Body Part
Q 255. I am a student of Islamic studies. My right hand has been amputated by a surgical operation. Recently, I came to realize that Imam Khomeini (q.) did not consider it correct for a person who has a part or parts of his body amputated to lead prayer for people who are normal. I would be grateful if you advise me about the rule regarding the prayer of those who offered their prayers behind me during this period?
A. The previous prayers of those who followed you are correct if they did their prayers behind you without knowing the shar‘ī ruling. They would not have to repeat them whether the time is expired or not.
Q 256. I am a student of Islamic studies. During the fight in defense of the Islamic Republic of Iran, my feet were injured and the big toes were amputated. At present I am leading prayer at a ḥusayniyyah. Is there any religious problem in this or not? I am hopeful that you will give me an explanation for my problem.
A. The defect — as much as mentioned — in an imam does not harm the state of leading the congregational prayer. Yes, it is problematic in case a hand or foot is completely amputated.
Women’s Attendance in Congregational Prayer
Q 257. Has the Divine Legislator encouraged women to take part in congregational and Friday prayers in masjids in the same way as it has done in the case of men? Or is it considered more preferable for women to perform prayers at home?
A. There is no problem if women go there to attend congregational and Friday prayers. Moreover, they would acquire the rewards for performing prayer in congregation.
Q 258. When can a woman be a congregational prayer leader?
A. A woman can lead congregational prayer for women only.
Q 259. What is the ruling of participation of women in congregational prayer as far as being makrūh or mustaḥabb is concerned?
i. What are the rules if women stand behind men?
ii. Do women need to have something separating them from the men when they are standing behind them?
iii. Is there any need for something to veil the women when they are offering prayer along side the men?
iv. It must be noted that to separate women from men, even when they are behind the men, during the prayers, the speech, etc is humiliating and insulting to women.
A. There is no problem in women’s attendance and participation in congregational prayer. There is no need for anything to separate the women from the men if they are standing behind the men. However, if women are performing prayers along side men, then it is preferable to have something to separate them to eradicate the karāhah arising due to the association of men with women in prayer. It is merely an assumption and baseless to say that separation affects the status and dignity of women. Furthermore, it is incorrect to enter one’s own opinion in jurisprudential matters.
Q 260. How should the lines of men and women be connected when there is no curtain between?
A. Women can stand behind men without any separation between them.
Performing Congregational Prayer behind Sunnīs
Q 261. Is it permissible to perform one’s prayer behind a Sunnī imam?
A. It is permissible to perform one’s prayer in congregation behind them for the sake of maintaining Muslim’s unity.
Q 262. I work in an area which is predominately Kurdish. Most Friday and congregational prayer leaders in this area are Sunnī. What is the rule with respect to performing prayers in congregation behind them? Is one permitted to backbite?
A. There is no problem in attending the prayer with them in their Friday and congregational prayer to maintain the unity. As far as backbiting is concerned, one should refrain from it.
Q 263. I associate with Sunnī people and perform the daily prayers with them. On certain occasions I practice according to them, e.g. cross my hand, not observing times of praying and do prostration on carpet.
A. If maintaining the Muslims’ unity demands of you to perform the prayer in that manner including prostration on a carpet and the like, then it is correct and valid. But it is not permissible to cross one’s hands during prayer unless a necessity requires such an action.
Q 264. In Mecca and Medina, we perform prayers in congregation with the Sunnī brethren relying on the verdict of Imam Khomeini (q.). On certain occasions to acquire the reward of performing prayer in a masjid, we perform our afternoon and ‘ishā’ prayers after noon and maghrib prayer in Sunnī masjids while doing prostration on the prayer mats. What is the ruling for such a prayer?
A. In the given case, one should prostrate on a thing on which it is correct to prostrate unless it contradicts the duty of dissimulation.
Q265. Can we the Shī‘ahs attend the Sunnī’s congregational prayer in other countries when they perform their prayers with their hands crossed? Would it be necessary for us to follow them in keeping our hands crossed or should we perform our prayers with our hands released?
A. It is permissible to perform one’s prayers with Sunnīs when it is required for maintaining Muslim unity and it will be considered correct and valid but it is not obligatory to cross one’s hands, rather it is not permitted unless a necessary requires it.
Q 266. While praying in Sunnī congregational prayer every participant places his little toes close to those of the next persons, they consider it necessary to do so. What is its ruling?
A. This is not obligatory. It does not invalidate one’s prayer either.
Q 267. The Sunnī brethren do their maghrib prayer prior to maghrib adhān. Is it correct during the occasion of Hajj or on other occasions to perform our prayer with them and consider that prayer sufficient?
A. It is not certain whether they actually do their prayer prior to its time. However, if the person is not certain that it is time for prayer then it is not correct for them to join it. However, if they intend to maintain Muslims’ unity, then they would be permitted to join in the prayer at that time and the prayer would be sufficient and there is no problem in it.
Q 268. What is your opinion regarding one’s participation in Friday prayers nowadays when the Twelfth Imam is not present? Is it obligatory or not for someone to attend Friday prayers when they do not believe that the Friday prayer imam to be just?
A. Even though Friday prayer is considered an alternative obligation during this period of time and it is not considered obligatory for people to participate in it, one should not deprive oneself of the blessings gained through attending the prayer solely due to doubt about the justice of the imam or due to irrelevant excuses.
Q 269. What is meant by alternative obligation concerning Friday prayer?
A. It means that one has a choice to perform either Friday or noon prayer.
Q 270. What is your opinion regarding someone who does not participate in Friday prayer due to lack of concern?
A. It is religiously reprehensible when one does not attend or participate in this religious and political Friday prayer because they do not consider it important.
Q 271. There are some people who do not take part in Friday prayer because of difference or baseless excuses. What is your opinion about this?
A. It is not Islamically acceptable to make oneself permanently absent from Friday prayers even though it may be an alternative obligation.
Q 272. Is it permissible to perform noon prayers in congregation at the time of Friday prayer at a place near to that of the Friday prayer?
A. In itself there is no objection to doing so and the followers would have fulfilled their duties because the Friday prayer is considered an alternative obligation at the present time. However, performing the noon prayer in congregation on Friday close to where Friday prayer is proceeding becomes a cause of division of the believers and often people consider such congregational prayer as an insult to and disrespect for the imam of the Friday prayer and an indication of lack of care and due attention for the Friday prayer. That is why it is preferred for the believers not to do so. In fact, if a depravity or ḥarām act may result, it would be obligatory to abstain from it.
Q 273. Can an individual offer his noon prayer in the time between Friday and afternoon prayers? Furthermore, is one allowed to recite one’s afternoon prayer behind a person other than the Friday prayer imam?
A. Although Friday prayer discharges one from the obligation to perform the noon prayer, there is no problem with performing noon prayers out of caution. There is no objection to saying one’s afternoon prayer behind a person other than imam of the Friday prayer; however, when one wants to say the afternoon prayer in congregation, then the absolute caution is to read it behind the individual who has read the noon prayer after Friday prayers according to caution.
Q 274. Are the followers allowed to pray their noon prayers when the imam of Friday prayer does not perform it after Friday prayer?
A. They are permitted to do so.
Q 275. Is it obligatory for the imam of the Friday prayers to acquire permission from the authorized religious authority? What is meant by the authorized religious authority? Does this rule apply to far cities?
A. Basically, the leadership of Friday prayer does not depend on permission. However, the Imam’s ruling does not apply unless he is appointed by the Leader of the Muslims. This rule applies to all lands and cities where the Leader governs and people are obedient to his rule.
Q 276. Can an Imam of Friday prayer appointed for a certain place lead the Friday prayer in another place where he has not been appointed when there is no obstacle or contending Friday prayer?
A. For him to lead a Friday prayer in another place is permissible in itself. However, the rules specific to an appointed imam would not be applicable.
Q 277. Does a temporary imam of Friday prayer need to be appointed by the Jurist Leader? Or does the permanent Friday prayer imam have the right himself to appoint people as temporary imams of Friday prayer?
A. The Friday prayer imam has the right to appoint anybody as a temporary Friday prayer imam. However, the rules applicable to an imam appointed by the Jurist Leader do not apply to such a person.
Q 278. If a mukallaf does not consider the appointed imam of Friday prayer as just or has doubts about his justice, then are they allowed to perform their prayers behind him just to maintain the unity of the Muslims? Furthermore, can a person who does not attend the Friday prayer discourage others from attending it?
A. It is not correct for a person to perform prayer behind one who is not considered as ‘ādil or about whom the follower doubts his justice. Nor would his congregational prayer be considered correct. However, for the sake of unity, there is no problem in joining the congregational prayer. But this person is not allowed, under any circumstances, to encourage others not to join the Friday prayer.
Q 279. What is the rule regarding not participating in Friday prayer when it is established for the mukallaf that the imam is a liar?
A. The contradiction in the speech of the Friday prayer imam is not evidence for that. It is possible that he may have made a mistake, an error of judgment or even taken the side of tawriyah. One should not deprive oneself of the blessings of the Friday prayer just due to imagination that the imam is not ‘ādil anymore.
Q 280. Is it necessary for the follower to check or be certain about the justice of the Friday prayer imam who has been appointed by Imam Khomeini or the ‘ādil Jurist Leader? Or is the mere fact that he has been appointed to lead Friday prayers sufficient to determine his justice?
A. If the appointment as imam of Friday prayers makes the follower certain and confident of the imam’s justice, then it is sufficient for the follower to consider his praying behind him as correct.
Q 281. Should the imam of a masjid be selected by trustworthy scholars or appointed as the imam of Friday prayers by the Jurist Leader, is it considered as evidence that he is ‘ādil? Or is it necessary to investigate his justice?
A. If the appointment makes the followers certain about the imam’s justice, then it is permissible for them to follow him in prayer.
Q 282. Is it necessary to repeat the prayers one has prayed behind a Friday prayer imam whose justice is questionable or, Allah forbid, if it is established that the imam is not ‘ādil?
A. If doubt about the imam’s justice or certainty about the lack of justice is acquired after completing the prayer, then it is not obligatory to repeat the prayers and they are considered correct.
Q 283. What is the rule regarding one’s participation in Friday prayers — offered in Europe and other places — conducted by university students from Islamic countries and most of the participant and the imam of Friday prayer are usually Sunnī brothers? And is it obligatory — in this case — to offer the noon prayer after the Friday prayer?
A. There is no objection to participating in it for the sake of safeguarding unity and Muslim solidarity and it is not obligatory to pray the noon prayer.
Q 284. In one of the cities of Pakistan there has been a Friday prayer for nearly 40 years. Now a person has started another one without taking into consideration the necessary shar‘ī distance between the two congregations. This has created a conflict between the people who come for prayers. What are the shar‘ī ruling regarding this act?
A. It is not permissible for one to create such a situation, thereby causing a conflict and separation between believers, especially when it is related to the Friday prayer which is a sign of Islam and shows the strength and unity of Muslims.
Q 285. It was announced by the religious speaker of the Jāmi‘ Ja‘farī masjid in Rawalpindi that Friday prayer will not be offered there due to construction work. Now that the work is finished, we face a problem. At a distance of 4 kilometers a Friday prayer has been started in another masjid. Taking the distance into consideration, would it be correct to do the Friday prayers in the mentioned masjid?
A. When the distance between the two Friday prayers is not one shar‘ī farsakh, the secondly offered Friday prayer will be void while if both of them started at the same moment, both of them are void.
Q 286. Could one perform Friday prayer, which is held in congregation, individually by performing it side by side with those who are performing it in congregation?
A. One of the requirements of Friday prayer is that it should be performed in congregation. Therefore, Friday prayers will not be valid if said individually.
Q 287. When a mukallaf whose duty is to pray shortened, wants to perform his prayer behind an imam of Friday prayer, will this action of his be valid?
A. Friday prayer said by a traveling follower is valid and discharges his obligation of performing the noon prayer.
Q 288. Is it obligatory to mention the name of Fātimah al-Zahrā’s (a.) as an Imam of Muslims in the second sermon, or is it obligatory to mention her name with the intent of being mustaḥabb?
A. The concept of Imams of Muslims does not apply to Fātimah al-Zahrā (a.), and it is not obligatory to mention her blessed name in the Friday sermon, but there is no problem in seeking blessings through mentioning her noble name (a). It is, in fact, a required thing and makes one gain rewards.
Q 289. Could a follower perform an obligatory prayer other than the Friday prayer behind the imam who is performing the Friday prayer?
A. The validity of such a prayer is problematic.
Q 290. Is it correct to deliver the two sermons of the Friday prayers before the time of shar‘ī noon?
A. It is permissible to make them before shar‘ī noon [i.e., the time when the sun crosses the meridian], although it is a caution to make a part of the sermon after noon.
Q 291. A follower has not been present during any of the two sermons and joined the prayer when the imam has started. Will his prayer be valid and discharge him of his obligation?
A. His prayers will be valid and sufficient even if he joins the imam during the rukū‘ of the last rak‘ah of the Friday prayer.
Q 292. In our city, Friday prayer is held one and a half hours after the noon adhān. Does this prayer discharge us of our obligation to perform the noon prayer, or is it necessary to perform the noon prayer too?
A. The time of Friday prayer begins at shar‘ī noon, and according to caution it should not be delayed more than about an hour or two after the beginnings — according to common view — of shar‘ī noon.
Q 293. It is not possible for an individual to attend the Friday prayer. May he perform the noon and afternoon prayers at the time’s beginning, or is it obligatory for him to wait until the end of Friday prayer and then perform his prayers?
A. Waiting is not obligatory, and he may perform the noon and afternoon prayers at the beginning of the time.
Q 294. If the appointed imam of the Friday prayers is well and present on the site, may he order the temporary Friday prayer imam to lead it? Is it correct to pray behind the latter?
A. There is no problem in performing the Friday prayer behind the deputy of the appointed imam even for the appointed imam himself.
The Two ‘Īd Prayers
Q 295. What kind of obligatory duties are the two ‘īd prayers in your opinion?
A. The two ‘īd prayers are not obligatory but mustaḥabb in the present period.
Q 296. Does any increase or decrease in the qunūt of ‘īd prayers make them invalid?
A. Prayers are not invalidated by this if the meaning of increase or decrease is to elongate or shorten the qunūt itself. While if it means increases or decrease in the number of the qunūts, one should offer the ‘īd prayer as it is mentioned within the books of jurisprudence.
Q 297. In the past, every imam of congregational prayers used to perform ‘Īd of Fitr prayers in his masjid. Is it permissible for imams of the masjids in the current period to hold the two ‘īd prayers?
A. It is permissible for the representatives of the Jurist Leader who are permitted by him to hold ‘īd prayers, and also for the Friday prayer imams, who have been appointed by him, to hold ‘īd prayers in congregation during the current period. As for any other individual, it is based on caution to perform them individually, and it does not matter if he performs them in congregation as something hopefully — not surely — desired in Islamic law. If it is deemed exigent that only one ‘īd prayer be held in a city, it is preferable not to be led by anyone other than the Imam of Friday prayer appointed by the Jurist Leader.
Q 298. Is there any qaḍā’ for the ‘Īd of Fiṭr prayer?
A. It does not have any qaḍā’.
Q 299. Does ‘Īd of Fiṭr prayer have any Iqāmah?
A. It does not have any Iqāmah.
Q 300. If an imam of Friday prayer recites Iqāmah for ‘Īd of Fiṭr prayer, what will be the rule of his prayers and that of others who are praying behind him?
A. It harms neither the ‘Īd prayer of the imam nor those of the followers.
A Traveler’s Prayer
Q 301. Does the obligation of saying shortened prayer by a traveler apply to all obligatory prayers or is it limited to some of them?
A. The obligation of shortened specifically applies to some daily prayers, i.e., noon, afternoon and ‘ishā’. As for the morning and the maghrib ones, this rule does not apply.
Q 302. What are the conditions for the four-rak‘ah prayers to become obligatorily shortened on the traveler?
A. They are eight conditions:
i. The traveled distance should be at least eight continuous shar‘ī farsakhs, either going or returning, or altogether provided that the going distance is not less than four shar‘ī farsakhs.
ii. The intent to travel the distance should exist from the time of departure. Hence if one does not intend to cover the distance, or intends a shorter one and then intends to travel to another place after reaching his destination, whose distance from the first destination is less than the shar‘ī distance, but more than the shar‘ī distance from his home, one will not pray shortened.
iii. The continuation of intent until the distance is covered. Thus if one changes his mind before covering four shar‘ī farsakhs or hesitates, the rule of travel will not apply to him after that, but the shortened prayers he performed before changing his intention are valid.
iv. That there be no intention to interrupt one’s journey while covering the distance by passing through one’s hometown, or by intending to stay ten days or more in another place.
v. That the journey be a lawful one according to Islamic law. Thus if the journey is a sinful or ḥarām one, whether it is such in itself like fleeing a holy war, or its purpose is ḥarām, such as traveling to commit highway robbery, for example, the rule of the traveler will not apply to it.
vi. That the traveler not be one of those who live a migrant life, like some Bedouins who do not have a fixed location and wander through deserts and stay near water, grass and pastures.
vii. That traveling should not be one’s job, such as a driver, a sailor, a person who hires out animals of burden, and so on. One whose job is done in traveling is also treated like the aforementioned.
viii. Reaching the tarakhkhuṣ limit, namely the point from where one cannot hear the town’s adhān.
Someone for Whom Traveling Is a Job or a Preliminary for the Job
Q 303. A person travels as a preliminary to his job, should he perform his prayer complete, or does this rule apply only to someone whose job is traveling? What do marji‘s such as Imam Khomeini mean by the phrase "one whose job is traveling". Is there anyone whose job is to travel? This is because the jobs of a shepherd, a driver, a sailor, etc. are to look after the sheep, or to drive, or to sail, respectively. Basically, there is no one whose job is traveling as such.
A. Whoever travels as a preliminary to his job and at least once every ten days goes back and forth between his home and place of work should perform his prayer complete and his fasting is valid. The phrase "one whose job is traveling" in the statements of mujtahids, may Allah be pleased with them, means someone whose job itself involves traveling, like the jobs mentioned in the question.
Q 304. There are people who take residence in a certain city for a period exceeding one year, or the soldiers who have to reside in a city for one or two years in order to complete their military service. Is it obligatory for them to intend to stay there at least for ten days after each travel so that they can perform their prayers in full and fast? What rule applies to their prayers and fasting if they intend to stay for less than ten days?
A. In the given case, they say full prayer and fast in that city.
Q 305. What rule applies to prayer and fasting of fighter pilots who, on most days, fly from their air bases and travel a distance much more then the shar‘ī distance and return again?
A. Their rule in this regard is the rule of car drivers, sailors, and pilots, i.e., during their traveling, they pray in full and their fasting is valid.
Q 306. Some tribes live in a winter resort for three or four months and in a summer resort for the rest of the year or vice versa. Are these two places considered their watan? When they are residing in one of them, they may have a trip to the other. How should they pray?
A. If they intend to continue going back and forth permanently between the summer and the winter resorts, spend some days of the year in one and other days in the other one, and choose both places as their permanent settlements, then both places are regarded as their watans. If the distance between the two watans equals or exceeds the shar‘ī distance, while traveling from one watan to the other, their rule is that of other travelers.
Q 307. I am an employee at a government office in the city of Semnan, and the distance between my work place and residence is about 35 km. Everyday, I travel this distance to reach my work place. How am I to perform my prayers when I have a special assignment and intend to stay in the city (place of my work) for several nights? Is it obligatory to perform my prayer in full? If, for example, I travel to the city of Semnan on Friday to visit my relatives, is it obligatory to perform my prayer in full or not?
A. If the journey is not for the sake of your job for which you travel daily, the rule of traveling for work will not apply to it. But if the journey is for the sake of the job itself and during it you do other things in the place of your work, such as visiting relatives and friends, and sometimes you stay there for one or more nights, the rule of traveling for work will not change because of this, and you will perform your prayers in full and fast.
Q 308. If I do certain personal work at my place of work after the time of my official assignment for which I have traveled (for example, I do my office work from 7 a.m. till 2 p.m. and do personal work after 2 p.m.), what will be the rule of my prayer and fasting?
A. Doing personal work during travel for official assignment, after completing the office work, does not change the rule of travel for official assignment.
Q 309. What rule applies to the prayers and fasting of the soldiers who know they will stay in a certain location for more than ten days, but have no control over their own affairs and situation? Please clarify Imam Khomeini’s fatwā too.
A. When they are sure that they will stay for ten days or more, it is obligatory for them to perform their prayers in full and fast. This is also the Imam’s fatwā.
Q 310. What rule applies to prayers and fasting of the personnel of the army, or that of the Islamic Revolution’s Guards Corps, who stay for more than ten days in garrisons and the same in border areas? Please explain the Imam’s fatwā, also.
A. If they decide to stay more than ten days in a location, or know that they will do so, it will be obligatory for them to perform their prayers in full and to fast. This is the Imam’s fatwā also.
Q 311. It is stated in the risālah of Imam Khomeini (q.), in the chapter on the traveler’s prayer, the seventh condition, "It is obligatory for the driver, except during his first journey, to perform prayer in full. During the first journey, his prayer is shortened even if it takes long." Does the first journey mean the beginning of travel from the watan till returning to it or it ends when one reaches his destination?
A. If the act of going to the place of work and returning back from it is considered as one trip in the common view — e.g. the teacher who travels to another town for teaching and return to his hometown in the afternoon or on the next day, to go and to return altogether would be considered as one trip. However, in case the common view does not consider them as one trip — like the driver who travels for transporting travelers or goods to another place and then returns to his watan — the first trip ends at the first destination.
Q 312. Does the traveler’s rule apply to persons whose permanent jobs are not driving, but driving has become their duty for a short term, such as soldiers in garrisons etc. who are assigned to drive cars, or is it obligatory for them to perform full prayers and fast?
A. If common people consider driving as their job during this temporary period, they have the same rule as that of other drivers.
Q 313. If a driver’s car breaks down and he travels to another city to buy spare parts to repair his car, should he perform prayer in complete or in shortened during such a trip, considering that he does not take his car with him?
A. In the given case, this is considered as a work travel in which his prayer is full.
Rule of Students
Q 314. What rule applies to university students who travel at least two days a week for the sake of studying, or to employees who travel weekly to their jobs? Given that they travel every week but occasionally stay in their watan for a month during college or office vacations and they do not travel during this period, will their prayers be shortened during the first journey (according to the rule), when they resume traveling, and be said in full after it? What is the rule if he has traveled for entertainment before this work travel?
A. In a travel for study the rules of prayer and fast are based on caution, whether they travel weekly or daily. This kind of travelers, observing the requirements, may refer to the fatwā of another mujtahid.
Otherwise, they should observe caution and say their prayer both shortened and complete. In this case, they fast in Ramadan month and perform its qaḍā’ later as well.
However, a person who travels for his job, whether official or private, if he travels to and fro between his watan/residence and his workplace at least once every ten days, should perform his prayers in full and his fasting is also valid. And if he stays for ten days in his watan or in another place, between two trips to work, during the first work trip after the ten days he will shorten the prayers and will not fast. If he has traveled for entertainment before this trip, he shortens his prayer in the private travel and full prayers in the next work travel. Yet, he does not avoid caution in this work travel to say both shortened and full prayers.
Q 315. I am working as a teacher in my hometown. Now I got an admission to a higher educational center which is located in a far city to which I should travel and stay three days a week as a professional mission. The other days of the week I teach in my hometown. What is the rule of my prayer and fasting in this travel? Does the rule of students apply to me or not.
A. If education is a part of your job, you should pray in full and fast is valid.
Q 316. If a student of Islamic studies intends to do propagation of Islam as his job, may he perform his prayers in full and fast while traveling? If someone travels for a purpose other than propagating Islam and guidance or enjoining the good and forbidding evil, what will be the rule concerning his prayers and fasting?
A. If propagating Islam, guidance, enjoining the good and forbidding evil are considered to be his job, while traveling for that work his rule is that of others who travel for their jobs. If he occasionally travels for a purpose other than propagating Islam, during such a journey his rule is that of other travelers, namely his prayer must be shortened and his fasting will be invalid.
Q 317. What is the rule of the prayers and fasting of those who travel for an indefinite period, such as the students of Islamic studies who go to the Islamic seminaries, or government employees who are transferred to a certain city for work purposes for an indefinite period?
A. In the given case, if they are to stay there for one or two years, their prayer is full and they should fast there.
Q 318. A student of Islamic studies lives in a city which is not his watan, and before making the intent of staying for ten days he knows in advance, or decides himself, that he would go every week to a masjid near the city. Can he make the intent of staying for ten days?
A. It does not harm his ten-day stay if at the time of deciding to stay for ten days, a person intends to leave his place for another location at less than the shar‘ī distance for a period of time in a way that as per common view it does not contradict his ten-day stay, like to go to less than the shar‘ī distance and come back three times within about five hours during his ten-day stay.
Intent of Traveling the Shar‘ī Distance and Staying for Ten Days
Q 319. I work in a place which is less than the shar‘ī distance from the nearby city. Since none of the two places is my watan, I make the intent to stay ten days in my place of work in order to perform full prayer and fast there. When I decide to stay in my place of work for ten days, I do not intend to leave for the neighboring city during those ten days or afterwards. What is the shar‘ī rule in the following situations:
i. If I leave for the nearby city in an emergency or for a business before the end of the ten days, and stop there for about two hours before returning to my place of work?
ii. If I leave for the city after the end of the ten days, visiting one of its districts without passing the shar‘ī distance, and stay there for a night before returning to my residence?
iii. If I leave for the city after ten complete days, intending to visit a certain district, but I change my mind after reaching it and decide to go to another point which is at more than the shar‘ī distance from my city of residence?
A. First and second: If one does not have a primary intention to leave the place, after the rule of full prayer is established — though it be by performing at least a single four-rak‘ah prayer — leaving it for a place at less than the shar‘ī distance, in one or more days – by day, it is meant from sunrise to sunset as perceived by common view, does not harm the intention of staying for ten days, whether he leaves it before or after completing the ten days. Therefore, he should perform full prayers and fast until he starts a new journey.
Third: In the given case that no shar‘ī travel has been materialized, the intention of stay remains intact.
Q 320. After leaving his watan, a traveler passes by a place where he can hear the adhān of his watan or see the walls of its houses, will it affect the distance covered?
A. This does not harm the distance covered as long as he does not pass through his watan itself and his journey is not discontinued by it. But the traveler’s rule does not apply to him while he is at this very place.
Q 321. The place where I live presently is not my original watan, and its distance from my original watan exceeds the shar‘ī limit. I did not adopt this place of my work as watan, and I may stay there only for some years. Sometimes I leave it two or three days a month to make a job-related trip. Is it obligatory for me to make the intent to stay for ten days whenever I return to the city of my residence after traveling more than the shar‘ī distance? If so, what is the distance I can cover on the city’s outskirts?
A. In the given case, you are not ruled as a traveler there, your prayer is full and you should fast there.
Q 322. A person lives four kilometers far from his watan for several years, visiting home weekly. What is the rule of his prayer if he travels a distance of 25 km. from his watan and 22 km. from a place in which he studied for several years?
A. If he leaves his own watan for the said destination, his prayer should be shortened.
Q 323. A traveler intends to travel to a place at three shar‘ī farsakhs, but his intention, at the beginning, is to travel a shar‘ī farsakh along a side road to accomplish some business and then return to the main road to continue his journey. What rule applies to the prayers and fasting of this traveler?
A. The traveler’s rule does not apply to him. It is not sufficient, in order to complete the shar‘ī distance, to add what he covered [along the side road] from the time he departed the main road to the time he returned to it.
Q 324. According to the Imam one should pray shortened and break the fast when travels a distance of eight shar‘ī farsakhs. If the going distance is less than four shar‘ī farsakhs but for returning one is forced to cover a distance of six shar‘ī farsakhs (due to unavailability of a car or difficulties of the road), should one shorten the prayer and break the fast?
A. If the going distance is less than four farsakhs and the return way alone is not equal to the shar‘ī distance, he should say full prayer and fast.
Q 325. A person travels from the place where he lives to another place within the shar‘ī distance and several times a week goes from the second place to other places so that the total distance exceeds eight shar‘ī farsakhs, what is his duty?
A. If he does not intend to travel the shar‘ī distance when leaving his home, and the distance between his first destination and the subsequent ones is not equal to the shar‘ī distance, the traveler’s rule would not apply to him.
Q 326.If one leaves his town heading towards a certain place, and on getting there goes around here and there, would his going around be added to the distance which he has traveled from his home?
A. Going about within the place of destination is not counted as part of the distance covered.
Q 327. When one intends to be in a place for ten days, is it permissible to have in mind to leave it for another place of less than shar‘ī distance?
A. It does not harm his ten-day stay if at the time of deciding to stay there for ten days, a person intends to leave the place for another location at less than the shar‘ī distance for a period of time in a way that as per common view it does not contradict his ten-day stay, like to go to less than the shar‘ī distance and come back three times for about five hours during his ten-day stay.
Q 328. One who travels to and fro between his place of residence and work — they are far from each other by more than 24 km — must perform prayers in full. Will his prayers remain full-length if he leaves the city of work and travels less than the shar‘ī distance, whether to another city or not, and then returns to his place of work before or after noontime?
A. The rule of one’s prayers and fasting in the place of work does not change simply on leaving it for a place within the shar‘ī distance, even for a purpose not related to the daily work, regardless of whether one returns to the place of work before or after the noon.
Q 329. One travels to a city. The distance between the two cities is less than the shar‘ī distance. However, the distance to the place (say, the house of his friend) he wants to go in the destination city is more than the shar‘ī distance. Which distance should be taken into account for calculating the shar‘ī distance; to the beginning of the destination city or to the place he wants to go?
A. If his destination is a certain point in a way that he enters the city in order to reach that point, he should consider the distance to that point. However, beside that point as his destination, if he should do something else in the city as well so that to reach city means to reach the destination, then the criterion is the beginning of the city.
Q 330. I travel every week to the city of Qom on a visit to Holy Ma‘ṣumah’s (a.) shrine and also in order to perform the rites of the Jamkaran Masjid. Should I offer full prayers or do shortened prayers during these journeys?
A. Your rule during such a journey is similar to that of other travelers and you shorten the prayer.
Q 331. I was born in Kashmar but lived in Tehran from 1966 to 1990. Three years ago, I came with my family to Bandar ‘Abbas on an official job, and within a year I will return to my watan, Tehran. During the period that I am at the port, I might have to go any time to the nearby towns on an assignment and stay there for a while, without being able to predict how long the official assignment will take.
Please, firstly clarify the rule which applies to me concerning prayers and fasting.
Secondly, what is the shar‘ī rule concerning the prayers and fasting of my wife who is a housewife born in Tehran and who came to the port of ‘Abbas to live here with me?
A. In the given case, in that place the rules of a traveler do not apply to you. Your prayer and that of your wife are full there and your fasting is valid.
Q 332. Someone makes the intention to stay for ten days, either because he knows that he would stay for ten days or decides to do so. Then, after the rule of full prayer applies to him through performing a four-rak‘ah prayer, he decides to travel. May he do so, if this travel is not a necessary one?
A. There is no problem in his traveling, even though it is not necessary.
Q 333. Someone travels to visit the shrine of Imam Riḍā (a.). Despite knowing that he will stay there for less than ten days, he makes intention to stay for ten days in order to perform his prayer in full. What rule applies to him?
A. If he knows that he will not stay for ten days, it does not make sense to make an intention to stay for ten days, this intention would be of no effect, and he should shorten the prayers there.
Q 334. Some employees travel less than the shar‘ī distance to reach their work place. They never stay there for ten days. Should they shorten their prayers?
A. In the given case, if they do not intend to stay in a place for ten days, it is considered as their work travel and they say full prayers in the pace of residence/work, and on the way.
Q 335. Someone travels to a place without knowing whether they are going to stay there for ten days or less, how should they say the prayers?
A. They should shorten their prayers for thirty days then pray in full even if they want to leave on the same day.
Q 336. What rule applies to the prayer and fasting of someone who is propagating Islam in two locations and intends to stay in that area for ten days?
A. If they are considered as two locations according to the common view, it will not be correct for him to make the intention of staying for ten days in both of them, or in one of them as long as he intends to go back and forth between the two during the ten days.
Q 337. In Germany and some other European countries, the distance between some cities (that is, the distance between the exit sign board of one city and the entry sign board of the other) is not even a hundred meters, and the houses and streets of the two cities are totally connected to one another. What is the tarakhkhuṣ limit in such cases?
A. Assuming that two cities are connected to each other in the way mentioned in the question, the rule of such cities is similar to that of two localities of one city. Thus, leaving one for the other is not regarded as traveling and there is no need to consider the tarakhkhuṣ limit.
Q 338. The criterion of the tarakhkhuṣ limit is the visibility of the city’s walls and audibility of its adhān. Are both of them together necessary or one is sufficient?
A. It is based on caution to observe both the signs, though it is not remote that the inaudibility of the adhān is adequate for determining the tarakhkhuṣ limit.
Q 339. What is the criterion of the tarakhkhuṣ limit, the audibility of the adhān from the houses of the area in which the traveler first arrives or from the centre of the city?
A. The criterion is the audibility of the adhān from the city’s end where the traveler leaves the city or enters it.
Q 340. There is a difference of opinion among the residents of an area concerning the shar‘ī distance. Some believe that the criterion is the walls of the area’s last connected houses. Some others believe that the distance should be calculated from the factories and scattered townships which are located beyond the city’s houses. The question is where does a city end?
A. The determination of a city’s end depends on the common view. Thus, if the factories and scattered townships are not considered as part of the city, according to the common view, the distance should be calculated from the last houses of the city.
A Travel for the Purposes of Committing a Sin
Q 341. If one knows that they will be engaged in sinful and ḥarām conduct during the journey they are about to make, will their prayer be full or shortened?
A. If their journey is not for the sake of neglecting an obligatory act or committing ḥarām, their rule will be that of normal travelers, namely, shortened prayer.
Q 342. If someone travels without the intent to commit a sinful act, but on the way he pursues his journey for a sinful purpose, is it obligatory for him to shorten the prayers? Are the shortened prayers he performed on the way correct?
A. It is obligatory for him to perform prayer in full from the time he intends to continue his travel for the sake of a sinful act and to repeat in full the prayers shortened he performed after continuing the journey for a sinful purpose.
Q 343. What is the rule that applies to a picnic made for pleasure, or a journey for purchasing the necessities of life, supposing that one will have no access during the journey to a place for praying or carrying out its preliminaries?
A. If he knows that he will have to forsake a prayer obligation during the journey, it is a caution to refrain from such a trip unless that results in harm or causes an unbearable hardship. Anyhow, it is impermissible to neglect one’s prayer for any reason.
Rules Regarding the Watan
Q 344. My birthplace is Tehran but my parents are originally from the city of Mahdishahr. They usually travel to Mahdishahr several times a year, and I go with them. As I do not intend to return to my parents’ town to live there, but have decided to stay in Tehran, what rule is applied to my prayer and fasting?
A. Based on the above assumption, your prayer and fasting in the original watan of your parents will be in accordance with that of a traveler.
Q 345. I live six months in one city during the year, and six months in another which is my birthplace as well as my place of residence and that of my family. However, my stay in the first city is not continuous, but intermittent. For example, I stay there for two weeks, ten days, or less, and then return to my birthplace where my family resides. My question is: Does the rule of a traveler apply to me if I intend to stay in the first city for less than ten days?
A. If you live there for a period of time so that you are not considered –according to common view - as a traveler there, your prayer there is full and your fast is valid.
Q 346. Someone wants to stay in a place temporarily, how long should he intend to be there so that his prayer is full and his fast is valid?
A. If he is to live there for one or two years at least, his prayer is full and his fast is valid.
Q 347. A person’s watan is Tehran. Recently he decided to take up residence in one of the towns near Tehran and make it his watan. But, since his daily business and work is in Tehran, he cannot stay in this city for ten days, let alone six months, so that it may become a watan for him. He goes to his work every day and returns at night to this town. What is the rule of his prayer and fasting in this town?
A. For a place to become one’s new watan, it is not a condition to stay there continuously after deciding to consider it as his/her watan and place of residence. Rather, after selecting a place as a new watan and residing there with this intention — even only at nights — for a while, it becomes his/her watan.
Also, if he does the acts that normally one does so when he wants to make it as his watan, like preparing a house and choosing a place for work/business, it is considered as his watan even before staying there for a while.
Q 348. My wife and I were born in the city of Kashmar. After my employment in a government office, I moved to the city of Neyshabour, while our parents still live in our birthplace. At the beginning of our move to Neyshabour, we abandoned our original watan (Kashmar) (i.e. we ceased to consider it as our watan anymore), but fifteen years later we changed our mind. Please answer the following questions:
i. What is our duty with respect to our prayers whenever we visit our parents and stay with them for several days?
ii. What is the duty of our children, who were born in our current place of residence (Neyshabour) and now they are ritually mature, during our visit to our parents’ town (Kashmar) and in the course of our several days’ stay in Kashmar?
A. After you abandon your original watan (Kashmar), it is not considered as your watan any more unless you return to live there again and stay there for a period after intending to live there permanently. As far as your children are concerned, the rule of watan does not apply to this city, and the rules of a traveler apply to all of you in that city.
Q 349. Someone has two watans. Therefore, he performs full prayer in both places and fasts. Please answer this question: Do his dependants, i.e. wife and children, have to follow their guardian in this matter, or may they act independently on their own?
A. It is permissible for the wife not to adopt the new watan of her husband as her own, but as for the children, if they are minors and dependent in making decisions and in earning money, or they are subject to their father’s decision with respect to this matter, the new watan of their father will be considered their watan as well.
Q 350. If a mother, to deliver her baby, has to travel for a few days to a maternity hospital located outside the watan of the baby’s father and return after the delivery, where will be the baby’s watan?
A. Simply being born in a city is not sufficient to make it its watan. The baby’s watan will be the parents’ watan where it is brought after birth, lives in with its parents and grows up.
Q 351. Someone has been living in Tehran for several years, but he has not taken it as a second watan. What will be the rule of his prayer and fasting in this city when he leaves Tehran, travels more or less than the shar‘ī distance and returns?
A. In the given case that he is not considered as a traveler as per common view, he should make full prayers and fast there.
Q 352. I am an Iraqi and would like to abandon Iraq as my watan. Should I take Iran as a whole as my watan, or one of its areas, and do I have to buy a house so that I might take a watan?
A. For taking a new watan, it is necessary to make the intention of adopting a particular city as watan and to reside there long enough to be considered as one of its residents according to common view. But the possession of a house in that city or anything else is not a condition.
Q 353. A person migrated from his birthplace to another city before being ritually mature, and was not aware of the issue of abandoning ones watan. Having reached the age of maturity now, what is his duty concerning his prayer and fasting in his birthplace?
A. If he migrated from his birthplace following his father, and his father intended not to return there for living, the watan’s rule will not apply to him in that place.
Q 354. Someone has a watan where he does not live at present, but goes there sometimes with his wife. Should his wife perform full prayer there, like him, if she goes along with him to that place? What rule will apply to her prayer if she goes there alone?
A. The mere fact that a place is the husband’s watan does not entail that it is a watan for the wife as well so that the watan’s rule should apply to her while being there.
Q 355. Does the rule of watan apply to one’s place of work?
A. To work at a place does not make it one’s watan. However, one is not ruled as a traveler and he should perform full prayer and fast there if one resides there and is to stay there for one/two years.
Q 356. What is meant by abandoning one’s watan? If a girl gets married and travels with her husband to the place he wishes, will it amount to abandoning her watan?
A. It is materialized by leaving one’s watan with the intention not to return to it or if he knows/is confident that it is not possible to return. Her mere going to the husband’s house in another city does not entail abandoning her original watan.
Q 357. Please explain your opinion on the issue of original and second watan.
A. Original watan is the place where one grew up and flourished at the beginning of his life (i.e. during childhood and adolescence). The second watan is the place a mukallaf decides to live in as his permanent residence although several months per year or for a long time like forty/fifty years.
Q 358. Without abandoning his watan, someone has been residing in another city for six years. Given that he has kept the taqlīd of the late Imam Khomeini (q), should he perform prayer in full when he returns to his watan?
A. As long as he has not abandoned his previous watan, the watan’s rule remains valid for him, and he should perform full prayers and his fasting is valid there.
Q 359. I was born in Kermanshah but have been living in Tehran for six years. I have not abandoned my original watan, while I intend to adopt Tehran as watan as well. If I move from one locality of Tehran to another every one or two years, what rule will apply to my prayer and fasting while I am here? Since we have been living in the new locality (inside Tehran) for more than six months, does the watan rule apply to us here? How will our prayers and fasting be when we travel between different areas of Tehran during the day?
A. If you make the intention to take the present Tehran, or one of its areas, as watan, it will be your watan as a whole, and the watan rule, namely the obligation to perform prayer in full and validity of fasting, will apply to you in all areas of the present Tehran, and the traveler’s rule will not apply to your traveling around inside present Tehran.
Q 360. Someone belongs to a village but works and lives in Tehran at present. His parents live in the village where they own some land and wells. He travels to the village to visit his parents or to help them, but is not interested at all in returning to live there. Given that he was born in this village, what is the rule of his prayer and fasting there?
A. If he does not want to, rather he has resolved not to, return to that village to live there, the watan rule will not apply to him there.
Q 361. Is one’s birthplace considered their watan even if they do not live there?
A. If they stayed there for a period of time (i.e. during childhood and adolescence), grew up and flourished there, and did not abandon it, then the watan’s rule will apply to it; otherwise, it will not.
Q 362. What rule applies to the prayer and fasting of someone who has been living for a long time (nine years) in a place which is not his watan and is presently forbidden from returning to his watan, but is certain that he will return some day?
A. In the given case, he is not ruled as a traveler and he should say full prayer and fast there.
Q 363. I spent six years of my life in a village, and eight years in a city before I came to Mashhad, where I now study. What is the rule of my prayer and fasting in each of these places?
A. You should say full prayer and fast in the village of your birth if it is considered as your original watan as per the common view. If there is doubt regading its being considered as your watan, you should observe caution. If you were not born there and doubt regading its being considered as your watan, the rules of watan are not applicable.
As for the city where you resided for several years, if you took it as your watan, the watan rule will apply to it while you are there, as long as you do not abandon it.
But as for Mashhad, the traveler’s rule will apply to you as long as you do not make the intention of making it your watan. However if you are to reside there for at least one/two year(s), you should say full prayer and fast there.
Wife’s and Children’s Following as far as Watan Is Concerned
Q 364. Should the wife follow her husband with respect to watan and ten-day stay?
A. Matrimony alone does not make the wife follow her husband involuntarily. Therefore, the wife may choose not to follow the husband with respect to the adoption of watan or the intent of ten-day stay in a place. However, if the wife is not independent in her decisions and living, and she submits to her husband’s will with regard to taking a watan and abandoning it, her husband’s intent will suffice for her in that regard, and the city to which her husband moves with her, intending to adopt it as his watan to live there permanently, will be her watan as well. Similarly, the husband’s abandoning their earlier watan, along with leaving it for another place, will also be considered as her abandoning her watan. Concerning her staying for ten days during travel, assuming that she submits to her husband’s wish, her knowledge of the husband’s intent of ten-day stay will be enough, even if she is compelled to accompany her husband during the period of his ten-day stay there.
Q 365. A young man married a girl from another city. Should the girl pray shortened or full prayers when she goes to her father’s home?
A. Her prayer is full while in her original watan, as long as she does not abandon it.
Q 366. Are wife and children covered by the ruling no.1284 of the risālah of Imam Khomeini (q.) according to which, it is not necessary for them to make the intention of travel also (along with the husband or the father) in order to be travelers? Does the father’s watan cause the prayers of those who follow him to be full?
A. In case they follow the father in traveling, though by compulsion, the father’s intention to cover the distance will suffice them if they know about it. But as far as taking a watan and abandoning it are concerned, if they are dependent in their decisions and living, in the sense of dependence on the father’s will in that regard, they will follow the father with respect to abandoning watan and adopting the new watan where the father has shifted with them to live permanently.
Rules of Large Cities
Q 367. What is your opinion concerning large cities with respect to the conditions of the intention of making them a watan or of staying there for ten days?
A. There is no difference between a large city and an ordinary one in respect of the traveler’s rules and the intention to make a watan or to stay for ten days. On making the intention to take a large city as one’s watan and staying in that city for a period without specifying any particular area, the watan’s rule will apply to the whole city. Similarly, if one makes the intention to stay in such a city for ten days without specifying any particular area of it, his prayer will be full and his fasting will be valid.
Q 368. Until the Revolution a person had no knowledge of Imam Khomeini’s (q.) verdict considering Tehran as a large city. What rule will apply to the prayers and fasts that he had performed in the usual way?
A. If he continues to do taqlīd of the late Imam (q.) concerning this issue, it will be obligatory for him to repeat the past acts which did not conform to his verdict, by making the qaḍā’, in shortened form, of the prayers performed in full while his duty was to shorten them, and making the qaḍā’ of the fasts kept while he was a traveler.
Prayer Performed by Hiring
Q 369. I am unable to perform prayer. May someone else pray on my behalf? Is there any difference between taking a representative for a wage and without it?
A. According to Islamic law, it is obligatory for every living mukallaf themselves to perform their obligatory prayers in any possible way. And an agent’s prayers, whether it is for a wage or without it, do not relieve them of this obligation.
Q 370. Someone is hired to perform prayer on another’s behalf, how is he to go about it?
i. Is it obligatory for him to recite the adhān, the Iqāmah, and the threefold salāms, and the complete tasbīḥāt al-arba‘ah?
ii. If he performs the noon and afternoon prayers, for example, one day and performs the complete five daily prayers on the next day, will it be necessary to observe their order?
iii. Is it necessary to mention the specifics of the deceased person for the prayer performed on their behalf?
A. Mentioning the specifics of the deceased person is not necessary. Order should be observed only between noon and afternoon and between maghrib and ‘ishā’. If the person hired to perform the prayers is not ordered to follow a particular method in the hiring contract, and there is no usual method implied by the generality of the contract, he must perform the prayers along with the mustaḥabb acts which are normally performed, but it will not be obligatory for him to say adhān for all the prayers.
Q 371. What is an āyāt prayer and what makes it obligatory according to Islamic law?
A. It is comprised of two rak‘ahs, with five rukū‘s and two prostrations in each rak‘ah. According to Islamic law, it becomes obligatory due to solar and lunar eclipses, even partial ones; an earthquake; and any abnormal phenomenon which scares most people, such as an unusual black, red, or yellow storm, an intense darkness, landslide, a cry (from the heavens), and the fire which sometimes appears in the sky. Āyāt prayer is not made obligatory by that which does not frighten most people, excepting eclipses and earthquakes, or by things which scare exceptions among people.
Q 372. How is an āyāt prayer performed?
A. Āyāt prayer has several forms:
i. After making intention and saying the takbīrah al-iḥrām, one recites the Fātiḥah and another one, and then performs rukū‘. After rising from the rukū‘, one recites the Fātiḥah and a chapter, and again performs rukū‘. One keeps on doing so until he performs five rukū‘s, each preceded by the Fātiḥah and another one. After that, he rises up and performs two prostrations, then stands up and performs the second rak‘ah in the same manner as the first one, completing with two prostrations, followed by tashahhud and salām.
ii. After making intention and saying takbīr, one recites the Fātiḥah and one verse (of course, considering Bismillāh as one verse is not valid) of a chapter, then performs rukū‘. Then rising from the rukū‘, one recites another verse of that chapter followed by a rukū‘. Then raising his head, he recites another verse of the same chapter, and continues this procedure until the fifth rukū‘, by then he should have completed the chapter. Then after the fifth rukū‘, he performs two prostrations, then stands up and recites the Fātiḥah and a part of a chapter, followed by rukū‘, and continues in the same manner as in the first rak‘ah, finishing with tashahhud and salām. If one wants to suffice with one verse of the chapter before every rukū‘, he may not recite the Fātiḥah more than once at the beginning of the rak‘ah. Of course, when dividing a chapter, it is not necessary to recite one complete verse before each rukū‘, rather he may divide one verse - other than Bismillāh - into two parts.
iii. One performs one of the two rak‘ahs in one of the above two forms and the other rak‘ah in the other form.
iv. One completes the chapter, of which he recited a verse in the first standing state, in the second, third, or the fourth standing state, for instance. Then it will be obligatory for him, after raising his head from the rukū‘, to repeat the Fātiḥah in the following standing state, and to recite with it a chapter or a verse of a chapter if he is before the third or fourth rukū‘. In this case, he must complete that chapter before the fifth rukū‘.
Q 373. Is the obligation of āyāt prayer limited to those who are in the city of occurrence of the phenomenon, or does it apply to any mukallaf who comes to know about it without being in that city?
A. It is obligatory for those who are in the phenomenon’s city, and this rule also applies to those who are in the adjacent city if both are considered as one city.
Q 374. If someone is unconscious when an earthquake occurs, and becomes conscious after its occurrence, will the āyāt prayer be obligatory for him?
A. If he does not come to know that an earthquake occurred until the adjacent time has finished, it is not obligatory for him to perform the āyāt prayer, but it is of caution to do so.
Q 375. After an earthquake in an area it is often observed that dozens of tremors occurs there in a short period of time. What is the rule with respect to āyāt prayer in such cases?
A. Each quake, whether violent or mild, requires its own āyāt prayer provided that it is considered as an independent quake.
Q 376. The center of seismography reports the occurrence of several mild earthquakes in the area we live, mentioning their number, though we felt none of them. Is āyāt prayer obligatory for us in such a case?
A. If it happens in a way that no one feels its occurrence and it is only understood by using an instrument, the āyāt prayer will not be obligatory.
Q 377. Should nāfilah prayers be recited loudly or quietly?
A. It is mustaḥabb to perform the daytime nāfilahs quietly and the nightly ones loudly.
Q 378. Is it permissible to perform night prayers as follows: two four-rak‘ah prayers instead of four two-rak‘ah ones, then a two-rak‘ah one, followed by the watr prayer?
A. It is not correct to perform the night nāfilah in the form of four-rak‘ah prayer.
Q 379. Is it necessary to perform the night prayers in the dark and in such a manner that nobody knows that we do it?
A. It is not required to perform it in the dark or to hide it from others. However, it is not permissible to show it off.
Q 380. Having performed the noon and afternoon prayers during the nāfilah’s time, occasionally we perform their nāfilahs, should the intention be to make qaḍā’ or something else?
A. In such a case, it is based on caution to perform them for the sake of proximity to Allah, the Exalted, not with the intention of adā’ or qaḍā’.
Q 381. Please explain in detail how to perform the night prayer?
A. Night prayer comprises eleven rak‘ahs in all. Eight of these rak‘ahs, which are performed two by two, are called night prayer. The next two-rak‘ah prayer performed like morning prayer is called shaf‘ prayer, and the last rak‘ah is known as rak‘ah of watr. It is mustaḥabb, in the qunūt of the rak‘ah of watr, to seek Allah’s forgiveness, to pray for believers, and to make appeals for fulfillment of requests to the Beneficent Allah, in accordance with what is mentioned in the books of supplications.
Q 382. How are the night prayers performed in respect of the chapters, begging Allah’s forgiveness and supplications?
A. The recitation of a certain chapter, repenting, or supplication is not a necessary part. After making intention and saying takbīrah al-iḥrām, it is sufficient to recite the Fātiḥah in every rak‘ah, perform rukū‘ and prostration, say their dhikr, and terminate it by tashahhud and salām, although one may recite a chapter of the Holy Qur’an after the Fātiḥah if one wants to.
Miscellaneous Issues of Prayers
Q 383. How should one wake one’s family members for morning prayer?
A. In this case, there is no particular way with respect to family members.
Q 384. What rule applies to the prayer and fasting of those who belong to different groups that are jealous of and even hostile to one another for no reason?
A. It is not permissible for a mukallaf to nurture envy, enmity and hostility towards others, but doing so does not invalidate one’s prayers and fasting.
Q 385. If combatants on the warfront cannot recite the Fātiḥah or perform prostration or rukū‘ due to the intensity of battle, how should they say prayer?
A. They should perform prayer in any possible way and if they cannot perform rukū‘ and prostration, it will suffice to do them through gestures.
Q 386. At what age must parents teach their children the rules of Islamic law and the rites of worship?
A. It is mustaḥabb for the guardian of children to teach them the rules of Islamic law and the rites of worship when they reach the age of discrimination.
Q 387. Drivers of some passenger buses that travel between cities do not care about their passengers’ prayers. So they do not stop the bus at the passengers’ request so that they may perform prayers. That may cause the passengers’ prayers become qaḍā’. What is the duty of bus drivers in this respect, and what is the passengers’ duty concerning their prayers in such a situation?
A. If the passengers fear the lapse of a prayer’s time, it will be obligatory for them to ask the driver to stop the bus at a place appropriate for praying, and it will be obligatory for the driver to accept their request. If he refuses to stop the bus for an acceptable reason, or no reason, the passengers, if they fear the lapse of the prayer’s time, should perform the prayer on the bus while it is moving, and observe qiblah, standing position, rukū‘ and prostration as much as possible.
Q 388. Does the statement, "One who drinks wine has neither prayer nor fast for forty days" mean that it is not obligatory for them to perform prayer during that period, and that they should make qaḍā’ for what they miss? Or does it mean that they should do adā’ (perform it in time) as well as qaḍā’? Or that it is not obligatory for them to make qaḍā’ and adā’ will do, though its reward is less than the other prayers?
A. It means that drinking wine prevents the acceptance of prayers and fasting, not that it exempts them from the obligation to perform prayers and fast on time and it becomes obligatory for them to perform their qaḍā’ instead, or that it is obligatory to perform them both adā’ and qaḍā’.
Q 389. What is my shar‘ī duty when I see someone performing some acts of prayer wrongly?
A. You have no obligation unless his mistake is a result of his ignorance of the rule, in which case it is obligatory to guide him.
Q 390. What is your opinion concerning the praying persons doing shaking hands with each other immediately after the prayer? It is noteworthy that some eminent scholars have said that nothing is narrated on this subject from the Immaculate Imams (a.), and therefore there is no basis for shaking hands. But at the same time, we know that shaking hands increases friendship and affection among those who gather for prayer.
A. There is no problem in shaking hands after the salām and finishing the prayer. In general, shaking hands with a believer is mustaḥabb.