Rules Concerning the Different Types of Water
Q 69: If the lower part of qalīl water that flows downward without pressure comes into contact with a najis substance, will its upper part remain pure?
A: The upper part of the flowing water will be pure if the water can be said to be flowing from a higher plane to a lower one.
Q 70: When purifying najis clothes in kurr/running water, is it necessary to wring them out; or after removing inherently najis substance, is permeation enough?
A: As per caution, they should be wrung out or shaken.
Q 71: To purify najis clothes in water, whether it is running water or kurr water; is it obligatory to wring out the clothes with the clothes out of the water, or will they become purified when squeezed inside the water?
A: It will suffice to wring them out or shake them inside the water.
Q 72: To purify a najis carpet or the like, is it enough to apply tap water — which is connected to the city water supply pipes — to a najis area; or should the used water be extracted as well?
A: After applying piped water, removal of the used water is not necessary; rather, after the inherently najis substance has been removed, water has reached the najis area, and the used water has been removed from this area by pressing with the hand while connected to piped water; the carpet becomes pure.
Q 73: What is the rule of wuḍū’ or ghusl made with water hard by nature such as sea water which is hard by its natural salts (like the water of Urumiyeh Lake in Iran) or water that is harder than that?
A: The mere hardness of the water due to the presence of salts does not prevent it from being considered as unadulterated water. And the criteria by which the shar‘ī application of unadulterated water comes into effect, is that the water must be regarded as such in the common view.
Q 74: For the consequences of kurr water to apply (in the case of waters such as the water stored in train toilets, etc.), is it obligatory to know for sure that the water is kurr? Or is it enough to assume that it is kurr?
A: If it is established that the water was kurr in its previous situation, it will be permissible to apply rules of kurr water to it.
Q 75: According to ruling no. 147 of Imam Khomeini’s (q.) book on Practical laws of Islam, "one should not depend on what a discriminating child says concerning purity and najāsah until he becomes legally mature." This ruling involves a difficult obligation because it entails, for instance, that parents should keep cleaning their child after he goes to the toilet until the child becomes fifteen years old. What is the religious duty in this regard?
A: The statement of a child who is close to the age of shar‘ī puberty is valid in this regard.
Q 76: Occasionally, a certain substance is added to water that makes its color milky. Is such water considered adulterated? And what is the rule with respect to using it for wuḍū’ and purification?
A: If a child, who is close to the age of shar‘ī puberty, tells about the purity or najāsah of themselves or of the object at their disposal, their statement in this reagard is reliable; otherwise, it is not reliable unless it brings certainty or confidence.
Q 77: What is the difference between running water and kurr water as far as purification is concerned?
A: There is no difference between the two in this regard.
Q 78: Is it valid to perform wuḍū’ with the water collected from the vapor of boiling salty water?
A: If the water can be called unadulterated water, the shar‘ī rules of unadulterated water will apply to it.
Q 79: In order to purify the bottom of one’s foot or shoes one should walk at least fifteen steps. Is this true only after removing the inherently najis material, or can the foot be purified even while the said material is there? Thus, does the bottom of one’s foot or shoes become purified when the inherently najis material is removed by walking fifteen steps?
A: When the bottom of one’s shoes / soles of feet become najis as a result of walking, one can purify them by walking almost ten steps on a dry and pure ground provided that the inherently najis substance is removed.
Q 80: Are the roads paved with asphalt or other materials considered as instances of the earth that purifies, so that by walking upon them the sole of the feet or the underneath surface of the shoes can be purified?
A: When the bottom of one’s shoes / soles of feet become najis as a result of walking on the ground, they are purified by walking almost ten steps on a dry and pure ground if the inherently najis substance or the made-najis object is removed from it by walking on, or rubbing it against, the ground.
Q 81: Is the sun considered one of the purifying agents? If so, what are the conditions for it to purify?
A: The sun purifies the ground and all immovable objects such as trees, plants, buildings, and/or whatever is fixed inside of them — such as timbers, doors and so forth. These things are purified by sunshine provided that at first the inherently najis substance is removed and then they are wet and dried out just by sunshine while nothing such as clouds or a curtain prevents direct sunshine on it.
Q 82: How can we purify najis clothes which color the water while being washed?
A: If it does not make the water adulterated, the clothes will become pure by pouring water on them.
Q 83: Someone put water in a vessel in order to use it for the ghusl of janābah. If some water drops fall from his body into the vessel during the ghusl, will the water become najis? And will there be any problem in completion of the ghusl with this water?
A: If the water falls into the vessel from some part of the body that is pure, then the water remains to be pure and there is no problem in completing ghusl with it.
Q 84: Is it possible to purify a clay oven built of clay that has been mixed with najis water?
A: Washing can purify its surfaces and for baking it is sufficient to purify the surfaces of the clay oven on which the bread dough is placed.
Q 85: Does najis oil remain najis after performing a chemical reaction on it so that it has new properties or does the metamorphosis rule apply to it?
A: For the purification of a najis substance, it is not sufficient merely to perform chemical reaction upon it so as to give it new properties.
Q 86: There is a bathhouse with a flat roof in our village. In this bathhouse, drops of water that are created from the steam in the bathhouse fall from the roof on the heads of the people who are bathing. Are these drops of water pure? Is the ghusl performed after these drops fall valid?
A: Both the steam and the drops of water that fall from the pure roof are ruled to be pure. Therefore, bodily contact with these drops of water does not harm the correctness of the ghusl and does not make the body najis.
Q 87: Scientific studies have shown that after sewage system water mixes with mineral pollutants and germs its specific gravity becomes ten percent more than the normal water. The filtration plant changes the water obtained from the sewage system and separates these materials and germs from them through physical, chemical and biological operations. Hence, after being purified in various respects — physically (color, taste, and odor), chemically (removal of mineral pollutants), and hygienically (removal of harmful germs and parasites ova), it becomes by far much cleaner and better than the water of many rivers and lakes, especially the water used for irrigation. Does najis drainage water become pure by the aforementioned process and does the rule of metamorphosis apply to this type of water? Or is the water, after going thorough such a process of filtration, ruled to be najis?
A: Metamorphosis would not be achieved just by separating mineral pollutants, germs, etc., from drainage water unless the purification process is done by evaporating the water and condensing its vapor into water again.
Rules of the Lavatory
Q 88: The nomadic tribes do not have sufficient water, especially during the days of their migration, for purifying the urinary outlet. Is it sufficient to purify it with wood or pebbles? And can they offer their prayers in such a situation?
A: The urinary outlet cannot be purified except by water. But if it is not possible to purify it with water, the prayer will be valid.
Q 89: What is the rule with respect to purifying the urinary outlet and the anus with qalīl water?
A: For purification of the urinary outlet with qalīl water it is necessary, after removing the inherently najis material, to wash it twice with water according to caution; and for the anus it is obligatory to wash it until the inherently najis material and its traces are removed.
Q 90: Customarily, it is obligatory for men who want to perform prayer to do istibrā’ after urination. I have a wound on my penis that bleeds while doing istibrā’ due to pressure upon the penis, and thus blood is mixed with the water used for purification causes my body and clothes to become najis. If I do not do istibrā’, the wound will possibly heal earlier. Doing istibrā’, which puts pressure on the penis, would certainly cause the wound to persist and heel only after the next three months. Please explain whether I should do istibrā’ or not.
A: Doing istibrā’ is not obligatory. Furthermore, it is not allowed if it causes a considerable harm. However, after urination if one does not do istibrā’ and a doubtful liquid comes out, it will be ruled as urine.
Q 91: Occasionally, after urinating and doing istibrā’, wetness similar to urine comes out involuntarily. Is it najis or pure? And, if one notices the problem by chance after a while, what is the rule concerning the prayers he has performed earlier? Is it obligatory in the future to examine this wetness, which comes out involuntarily?
A: The wetness that comes out after doing istibrā’, about which one doubts whether it is urine or not, is not considered urine. It is to be considered pure, and it is not obligatory to do any investigation in this case.
Q 92: Please give an explanation concerning the different wet discharges that one may experience.
A: The wetness that comes out occasionally after the discharge of semen is called ‘wadhi’ That which comes out occasionally after urinating is called ‘wadi’, and that which comes out after foreplay is called ‘madhi’. All of them are pure and do not invalidate wuḍū’.
Q 93: A toilet seat was fixed in a direction totally different from the direction believed to be that of the qiblah. After some time it was known that the direction of the toilet seat is deviated with 20 to 22 degrees from the direction of the qiblah. Is it obligatory to change the direction of the toilet seat or not?
A: Assuming the deviation from the direction of qiblah is enough to be considered a deviation, there is no problem.
Q 94: Due to a urinary disease, the urine does not stop and wetness comes out after urinating and doing istibrā’. I have consulted a physician and acted on his prescription but it had no use. What is my duty?
A: Doubt concerning discharge of urine after doing istibrā’ is not to be taken into account. But if one is certain that there is a discharge of some drops of urine, one’s obligation is to act according to the duty of that who is incontinent to urine as explained in Imam Khomeini’s (q.) book on Practical laws of Islam and he has no other duty.
Q 95: How is istibrā’ done before purifying anus?
A: There is no difference between performing it before or after purifying anus.
Q 96: Employment in some companies and institutions depends on undergoing a medical examination that partly includes exposing one’s private parts and looking at them. Is that permissible when one needs to find a job?
A: It is not permissible to expose one’s private parts before another person nor the latter's looking at them, even if one’s employment depends upon it. Of course, if the doctor thinks the would-be employee may be sick while employing him like that is against the law and there is no way other than direct physical examination to diagnose the illness, looking becomes permissible only in this case.
Q 97: After urination, how many times should the urinary outlet be washed to become pure?
A: According to the obligatory caution, the urinary outlet will become pure by washing it two times with qalīl water.
Q 98: How could the excretory outlet (anus) be made pure?
A: The excretory outlet could be made pure through two methods. First: washing it with water until the najis material is removed after which there would be no need for further washing. Second: removing the najis material with three pure pieces of stone, clothes or the likes. If the najis material is not removed with these three pieces, more pieces could be used until the najis material is completely removed. Instead of three pieces, one could use three sites of the same piece of stone or cloth.
Rules of Wuḍū’
Q 99: Having made wuḍū’ with the intention of having wuḍū’ for the prayer of maghrib, is it permissible for one to touch the Noble Qur’an and offer the prayer of ‘ishā’ with the same wuḍū’?
A: Once a valid wuḍū’ is made and it has not become invalid, it is permissible to perform any act that requires wuḍū’.
Q 100: A person who wears artificial hair on his head and it is difficult for him not to wear it, is it permissible for him to wipe over it in wuḍū’?
A: If the artificial hair is in the form of a wig, it would be obligatory to remove it and do wiping. But if the artificial hair is implanted in the skin and its removal would entail unbearable loss or hardship and one cannot make water reaches the scalp, it would be valid to do wiping over it. However, by caution they do tayammum as well.
Q 101: I have been told that one can pour only two handfuls of water on the face during wuḍū’, and a third one will invalidate the wuḍū’, is that correct?
A: Washing wuḍū’ parts is obligatory for the first time and permissible for the second time. But it is not said in shar‘ to wash it for the third time. The criterion in determining each time is one’s intention. Therefore if somebody pours two or more handfuls of water on his face as the first time, there is nothing wrong with it.
Q 102: In doing wuḍū’ by immersion, is it permissible to submerge the face and the hands into the water more than two times?
A: For wuḍū’ by immersion one may submerge the face and the hands only twice into the water. It is obligatory for the first time, permissible for the second time, and impermissible for more than that. Regarding the hands, in the given wuḍū’, one should intend washing for wuḍū’ when bringing them out of water in order to make it possible to use their wuḍū’ water for wiping.
Q 103: Are the natural oily secretions of the body — that cover the hair and skin — considered a barrier that would prevent water from reaching the skin?
A: It is not considered a barrier unless it is so much that it would prevent water from reaching the skin and the hair.
Q 104: For some time I was not wiping the tips of my toes while performing the wiping in wuḍū’. I was only wiping the upper surface of the foot and part of the toes. Is this wiping valid? In case of invalidity, is it obligatory for me to repeat the prayers that I have performed with such wuḍū’?
A: If the tips of the toes are not covered in the wiping process, the wuḍū’ is invalid and it is obligatory to repeat all the prayers offered with such a wuḍū’. But in case that one knew the ruling and probably he was wiping the tips of the toes during wiping, the wuḍū’s and the prayers offered with them are ruled to be correct.
Q 105: What is meant by the ‘ka‘b’ up to which the wiping of the foot is to be made?
A: It is obligatory that the wiping is made up to the ankle joint.
Q 106: What is the rule concerning wuḍū’ performed in the masjids, centers, and government offices built by the government in other Islamic countries?
A: It is permissible and there is no shar‘ī impediment in doing so.
Q 107: A spring flows out in a piece of land. If we want to carry the water by pipes to an area at a distance of several kilometers, it is necessary to lay pipes on land of some other people. In the case of dissatisfaction of the owners, is it permissible to use the spring water for wuḍū’, ghusl and other acts of purification?
A: If the spring is natural, situated beside and outside other’s property, and its water flows into the pipes before it flows on others' property and carried to the said area, there is nothing wrong in using the water unless the common view consider it a violation of others’ properties.
Q 108: Although the city water supply department interdicted installation of pumps in the pipeline, in some places water pressure is so low that people in higher stories are forced to use pumps. Considering the abovementioned situation, please provide us with the answer to the following questions:
i. According to Islam, is it permissible to install pumps in order to use more water?
ii. If it is not permissible, what is the ruling in regard to performing wuḍū’ and ghusl with water got through a pump?
A: In the given question, it is not permissible to install and use a pump. Furthermore, performing wuḍū’ and ghusl with water obtained through a pump is problematic.
Q 109: In one of your answers you have stated that if wuḍū’ is done at a time near to the beginning time of prayer, the prayer performed therewith is valid. So how far before the beginning time of prayer have you meant?
A: The criterion is that common people consider it near to the arrival of the time of prayer, and there is no objection to the wuḍū’ performed — for the prayer — within that period.
Q 110: Is it mustaḥabb for someone who performs wuḍū’ to wipe the lower surface of the toes that touches the ground while walking?
A: The place of the wiping is the upper surface of the foot from the tip of one of the toes to the ankle, and the recommendation of wiping the lower part of the toes is not proved.
Q 111: If someone who performs wuḍū’ opens and closes the faucet while washing his hands and face with the intent of wuḍū’, what is the ruling concerning this act?
A: There is no problem in doing so and it does not harm the validity of the wuḍū’. However, after washing the left hand and before performing the wiping, if one puts his hand on the wet faucet and the water used for wuḍū’ in the hand is mixed with water which was not used for wuḍū’, wiping with this water (i.e. a mixture of wuḍū’ water and water on the faucet) is not valid.
Q 112: Is it possible to use water other than that of wuḍū’ for wiping? And is it necessary to wipe the head with the right hand and in an up-down direction?
A: It is obligatory to do wiping on the head and the feet with the remnant wetness of wuḍū’ remained in the hand and in case that no remnant wetness is there, the wetness should be taken from the beard or the eyebrows by the hand and to do wiping with it. Also, it is based on caution to do wiping on the head with the right hand but it is not necessary to wipe the head in an up-down direction.
Q 113: Some women claim that fingernail polish does not create a hindrance for the wuḍū’ and that it is permissible to do wiping over transparent socks. What is your opinion?
A: If the fingernail polish has a substance that prevents water from reaching the nails, the wuḍū’ is void, and wiping performed on socks is incorrect, however transparent they may be.
Q 114: Is it permissible for those wounded in war, who have lost bladder control due to the severing of the spinal cord, to attend the Friday congregational sermons and take part in the Friday and afternoon prayers with wuḍū’ performed according to the duties of someone who is incontinent for urine?
A: They may participate in a Friday prayer. But as it is obligatory for them to begin the prayer after wuḍū’ without delay, their wuḍū’ performed before the sermons is not sufficient for the Friday prayer unless no invalidator of wuḍū’ (e.g. urination) occurred after wuḍū’.
Q 115: Someone gets assistance in making wuḍū’ as he is unable to perform wuḍū’ on his own. Then he makes intentions and performs the wiping with his own hand. And when unable to do the wiping himself, the assistant takes his hand and does the wiping with it, and when that cannot be done the assistant takes the moisture from his hand and does the wiping with it. But what is the rule when he does not have hands?
A: If he does not have a palm, the moisture would be taken from his forearm, and if there is no forearm the moisture would be taken from his beard or eyebrow, and with it the wiping of the head and the feet is carried out.
Q 116: Near the place where Friday prayer is performed, there is a place for wuḍū’ affiliated to the local jāmi‘ masjid but the water is not paid for by the budget of the masjid. Is it permissible for those performing Friday prayer to use that water for wuḍū’?
A: As the water is prepared for performing wuḍū’ for all those who perform prayer, without any restrictions, there is no problem in using it.
Q 117:Q 117: Is wuḍū’ performed for the noon and afternoon prayers also sufficient for the maghrib and ‘ishā’ prayers, this is when one knows that nothing occurred within this time that might annul the wuḍū’? Or is it obligatory to make a separate intention and wuḍū’ for each prayer?
A: It is not necessary to perform wuḍū’ for every prayer. Rather, It is allowed to offer as many prayers as one wants with a single wuḍū’ as long as it remains valid.
Q 118: Is it permissible to do wuḍū’ with the intention of offering the daily obligatory prayer before the beginning of its time?
A: There is no problem in doing wuḍū’ with the intention of performing the daily obligatory prayer a little while before its time begins.
Q 119: My feet are affected with paralysis and I walk with the help of medical shoes and crutches. It is not possible for me to take off the shoes for wuḍū’. Please explain my shar‘ī duty concerning the wiping of the feet.
A: If removing the shoes for wiping the feet is so difficult for you, wiping over the shoes is sufficient and valid.
Q 120: After searching for water in a range of several farsakh, we found only some dirty water. Is it obligatory to do tayammum in this condition or to do wuḍū’ with this water?
A: If the water is pure and unadulterated and there is no harm or fear of harm in using it, it is obligatory to do wuḍū’, and it is not the occasion for tayammum.
Q 121: Is wuḍū’ by itself mustaḥabb? And is it valid to perform wuḍū’ for the sake of nearness to Allah before the time of prayer arrives and then to offer the prayer with that wuḍū’?
A: Doing wuḍū’ for the sake of being in a state of purity is mustaḥabb and preferable in Islamic law and it is permissible to perform prayer with a mustaḥabb wuḍū’.
Q 122: How could a person who is always doubtful about the validity of his wuḍū’ go to the masjid, pray, read the Noble Qur’an, and visit the shrine of the Infallibles (a.)?
A: No attention should be paid to doubt concerning state of purity after the performance of wuḍū’. And it is permissible for one to offer prayer and read the Noble Qur’an, etc. as long as one is not certain that his wuḍū’ has been invalidated.
Q 123: For wuḍū’ to be correct, is it a condition that the water should flow over the whole hand, or is it sufficient that the hands are wiped with a wet hand?
A: One may do mash of the head on the upper part of scalp or its hair. However, if the hair of another part of the head is collected on the upper part or the hair of upper part of the head is so long that now it is on the shoulder or face, it is not enough to pass wet hand on it. Rather, one must part the hair to do mash on the upper part of the scalp or the base of the hair.
Q 124: In wiping the head, is it sufficient to make the hair wet or is it obligatory that the moisture from the hand reaches the skin of the head, as well?
A: One may do mash of the head on the upper part of scalp or its hair. However, if the hair of another part of the head is collected on the upper part or the hair of upper part of the head is so long that now it is on the shoulder or face, it is not enough to pass wet hand on it. Rather, one must part the hair to do mash on the upper part of the scalp or the base of the hair.
Q 125: Someone is using artificial hair; how can he wipe his head? And what is his duty in the case of ghusl?
A: If the hair is implanted, it is impossible to remove it or its removal entails harm and unbearable difficulty and it is impossible to make the scalp wet due to the hairs, wiping over these hairs is sufficient. The same ruling is applicable to ghusl, as well.
Q 126: What is the rule concerning an interval of time, which may separate the wiping and / or the washing of different body parts during wuḍū’ or ghusl?
A: There is no problem in an interval time — i.e. not observing succession — during the ghusl. However, wuḍū’ will be invalid if there is a delay in completing it to the extent that previously washed or wiped body parts dry up.
Q 127: What is the duty of a person suffering from continuous discharge of gas, though in a small amount, regarding wuḍū’ and prayers?
A: If he cannot keep his wuḍū’ until the end of the prayer, and the renewal of wuḍū’ during the prayer is so difficult, he can pray only one prayer with each wuḍū’. That is, for each prayer the performance of one wuḍū’ is sufficient, though it would become invalid during the prayer.
Q 128: Some people who live in residential complexes refuse to pay their share of the expense of keeping a watchman and other services including cold and hot water, air conditioning, and so forth. Are prayers, fasting and other acts of worship of such people, who put the financial burden of the mentioned services on the shoulders of their unwilling neighbors, invalid from the viewpoint of Islamic law?
A: According to Islamic law, each person is liable for paying the expenses of the common facilities as much as he uses. And if he wants not to pay the cost of water, his wuḍū’ and ghusl are invalid.
Q 129: Someone performed ghusl of janābah and wants to offer the prayer after about 3 or 4 hours, but he does not know whether his ghusl is still valid or not. Is there any problem if he performs wuḍū’ as a caution?
A: In this case, performing wuḍū’ is not obligatory, but there is no objection to taking caution.
Q 130: Does the wuḍū’ of an immature child become invalid due to wuḍū’ invalidators? Is it permissible to allow the child to touch the writings of the Noble Qur’an?
A: Yes, wuḍū’ invalidators makes the wuḍū’ of the child invalid. However, touching the script of the Noble Qur’an is not ḥarām for the child and it is not obligatory for a mukallaf to prevent him from touching it.
Q 131: One of the body parts involved in wuḍū’ becomes najis after being washed and before the completion of the wuḍū’. What is its rule?
A: That does not harm the validity of the wuḍū’, though it is obligatory to purify that part to obtain a state of purity from najāsah, which is required for prayer.
Q 132: Does it matter if there are some drops of water on the foot while wiping them for wuḍū’?
A: It is obligatory to wipe these drops of water off the wiping site so that the hand used to wipe the foot will wet the foot, not the reverse.
Q 133: Is one relieved of the obligation of wiping the right foot if the right hand, for instance, is amputated from above the elbow?
A: No, it is obligatory for him to wipe it with the left hand.
Q 134: What is the duty of someone who has a wound or a fracture in one of his body parts involved in wuḍū’?
A: If the wound or the fracture is not dressed and it is not harmful to wash it with water, it should be washed. However, if washing it is harmful, the surrounding area is to be washed and it is based on obligatory caution to wipe it with wet hand if it is not harmful.
Q 135: What is the duty of a person who is wounded in those areas involved in wiping in wuḍū’?
A: If he cannot wipe the wound with a wet hand, he is obliged to do tayammum instead. But if he can put a piece of cloth on the wound and do wiping over it with a wet hand, by caution, in addition to doing tayammum, he should perform wuḍū’ according to the mentioned method.
Q 136: A person does not know that his wuḍū’ is invalid, and comes to know about it only after completing the wuḍū’. What is the rule?
A: It is obligatory for him to repeat the wuḍū’ for the acts that require wuḍū’, such as prayers. If he has offered prayer with this void wuḍū’, he should repeat this prayer as well.
Q 137: One has a wound on one of the limbs involved in the wuḍū’ process; which bleeds continuously despite of putting the dressing on it. How can they perform wuḍū’?
A: It is obligatory for them to use a dressing on the wound, such as one made of nylon, which prevents blood from oozing out.
Q 138: Is it makrūh to wipe off the moisture after wuḍū’? And is it mustaḥabb to abstain from doing so?
A: If a particular towel or piece of cloth is specified for such an act, there is no objection to it.
Q 139: Would the artificial dye which women use to dye their hair and eyebrows act as an impediment to the validity of wuḍū’ or ghusl?
A: If it is just dye that does not have a substance that prevents water from reaching the hair, wuḍū’ and ghusl would be both valid.
Q 140: Is the presence of ink on the hands among the obstacles of water that invalidate the wuḍū’?
A: If it has a substance that prevents water from reaching the skin, the wuḍū’ is invalid and the decision concerning the instances rests with the mukallaf.
Q 141: Does wuḍū’ become void if the moisture of the hand comes into contact with that on the face while wiping the head?
A: As it is obligatory that wiping of the feet is done with the palms’ moisture which remains from the wuḍū’ water, one should not touch the top of the forehead with the hand while wiping the head in a manner that the hand’s moisture comes into contact with the moisture on the face. This is to prevent the hand’s moisture, needed for wiping the feet, from being mixed with that on the face.
Q 142: A person takes much more time for wuḍū’ than is ordinarily needed, what is he to do to become certain that he has washed the parts involved in wuḍū’?
A: It is obligatory for him to refrain from obsession and to ignore it in order to disappoint Satan. He should also try to confine himself, like other people, to the extent that is required by Islamic law.
Q 143: There are tattoos on some parts of my body and I am told that my ghusl, wuḍū’, and prayers are invalid. Please guide me in this matter.
A: If the tattoos are merely color or it is under the skin and there is nothing on the skin to prevent water from reaching it, then wuḍū’ and ghusl are valid.
Q 144: After urinating, doing istibrā’, and performing wuḍū’, a fluid suspected of being either urine or semen came out. What is its rule?
A: In the given question, it is obligatory to perform both wuḍū’ and ghusl in order to obtain certainty of purity from the invalidators of both of them.
Q 145: Please state the difference between the wuḍū’ of men and women.
A: There is no difference between men and women in respect of the acts of wuḍū’ and its procedure. However, it is mustaḥabb for men while washing the elbow to begin with its outer side, and for women to begin with its inner side.
The Rules for Touching the Names of Allah, the Glorious, and the Verses of the Qur’an
Q 146: What is the rule concerning the pronouns referring to Allah, the Exalted, such as in the expression, " bismihī ta‘ālā"?
A: The rule concerning His Names does not apply to pronouns.
Q 147: It has been usual to write ‘A.’ instead of the name of ‘Allah,’ what is the rule with respect to touching this letter without wuḍū’?
A: The rule concerning Allah’s names does not apply to the ‘A.’, i.e. touching it without wuḍū’ is no problem.
Q 148: I work in a place where the word ‘Allah’ is written in the form of ‘A.’ in correspondence. Is it correct to write in this way instead of writing the real Divine Name that is indicated upon?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q 149: Is it permissible to abstain from writing the Name of ‘Allah’ or to write it as ‘Al...’ just for the probability that it might be touched by someone without wuḍū’?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q 150: Blind people use a script called Braille for reading and writing on which they pass their fingers. Is it necessary for the blind, while learning the Noble Qur’an and also while touching the sacred names written in Braille to have wuḍū’?
A: If the protruding dots are signs for the original letters, the ruling of the letters is not applicable to them. But, if, according to the view of informed people, they are considered as script, it is necessary to observe caution in touching them.
Q 151: What is the rule concerning touching such names as Abdullah and Ḥabībullah without wuḍū’?
A: It is not permissible for one who is not in a state of purity to touch the name of Allah, even if it is a part of a compound name.
Q 152: Is it permissible for women, during their menstrual period, to wear a necklace engraved with the blessed name of the Prophet (s.)?
A: There is no objection to hanging it around the neck, though based on obligatory caution the name should not touch the body.
Q 153: Is the prohibition of touching the words of the Noble Qur’an without purity limited to the case where they are in the sacred scripture, or is it ḥarām, although they are found in other books, tableaux, walls, etc.?
A: It is not limited to the sacred scripture. Rather, it also includes the Qur’anic words and verses written in other books, newspapers, magazines, tableaux, etc.
Q 154: For eating rice, a family uses a dish on which Qur’anic verses, such as The Verse of Āyah al-Kursī, is inscribed for the sake of blessing. Is there any problem in this?
A: If they are touching it with wuḍū’ or using spoons for eating, there will be no problem.
Q 155: Is it obligatory for persons engaged in typing, with typewriter, the Divine Names, or the verses of the Holy Qur’an or the names of the Infallible Imams (a.) to have wuḍū’?
A: Purity is not a condition for this work, but it is not permissible for them to touch the printed items without wuḍū’.
Q 156: Is it ḥarām to touch the emblem of the Islamic Republic of Iran without wuḍū’?
A: If the emblem of the Islamic Republic is, as per common view, considered and read as the exalted name of Allah, then touching it without wuḍū’ is forbidden. Otherwise, there is no problem, although based on caution it is better not to touch it without wuḍū’.
Q 157: What is the ruling concerning printing the emblem of the Islamic Republic of Iran on official papers and using it in correspondence, etc.?
A: There is no problem in writing or printing the name of Allah or the emblem of the Islamic Republic of Iran and it is based on caution to observe the rulings of the name of Allah in this emblem, as well.
Q 158: What is the rule concerning using postal stamps on which verses of the Noble Qur’an or the Name of Allah or other Names of Allah, the Glorious and Exalted, are written, or to print the emblems of institutions containing verses of the Noble Qur’an in newspapers, magazines and publications that are published every day?
A: There is no problem in printing and publishing Qur’anic verses, the name ‘Allah’, or the like. But, it is obligatory for whoever handles them to observe the related rules of Islamic law and to refrain from dealing with them irreverently or making them najis or touching them without wuḍū’.
Q 159: In some newspapers the names of Allah or Qur’anic verses are written. Is it permissible to wrap food with them, sit on them, use them instead of a tablecloth and put food on them, or throw them into the garbage knowing that it is difficult to get rid of them through other ways?
A: It is impermissible to use these newspapers for such purposes which are considered in the common view as disrespect while it is no problem if they would not be considered like that.
Q 160: Is it permissible to touch the words engraved on rings?
A: If they are words that require wuḍū’ to touch them, it is not permissible to touch them without wuḍū’.
Q 161: What is the rule concerning throwing something which includes the names of Allah, the Exalted, into rivers and streams? Is this act considered as disrespecting them?
A: There is no objection to throwing it in rivers or streams if the common view does not consider it as irreverence towards them.
Q 162: Is it obligatory while throwing corrected exam papers in the garbage or while burning them to ascertain that they do not contain the names of Allah, the Exalted, and those of the Infallibles (a.)? Is it considered extravagance to throw away papers with one blank page (i.e. only one page is used)?
A: It is not obligatory to investigate, and when you are not sure whether it includes the name of Allah, the Exalted, there is no objection to throwing it in the garbage. However, as to papers that are partly blank, and can be used for writing upon them or can be used for manufacturing cardboard, burning them and throwing them away which may amount to extravagance, is not free of problems.
Q 163: What are the sacred names whose veneration is obligatory and which it is unlawful to touch without wuḍū’?
A: It is ḥarām to touch the names and attributes special to Allah, the Gracious, without wuḍū’. And obligatory caution lies in applying the same rule to the names of the Great Prophets and the Infallible Imams (a.).
Q 164: What are the shar‘ī methods for erasing the holy names and Qur’anic verses when there is a need to do so? What is the rule with respect to burning papers that carry Allah’s Name and Qur’anic verses when it becomes necessary to destroy them in order to keep secrets?
A: There is no problem in burying them in the soil or converting them, with water, into pulp. But burning them is problematic and, when considered disrespect, impermissible except when compulsion calls for it and it is not possible to cut out Qur’anic verses and the holy names from them.
Q 165: What is the rule concerning shredding the holy names and Qur’anic verses in such a way that no two letters remain connected to each other and the names and verses become illegible? Does it suffice in their effacement, in order to evade their rule, to change their written form by adding some letters to them or erasing some of their letters?
A: If shredding them in such a manner amounts to disrespect, it is impermissible. Otherwise, if it does not lead to the disappearance of Allah’s name and verses of the Holy Qur’an, it is not sufficient. Also, changing the words through addition or removal of some letters does not prevent the rule from being applied to a letter intended to be a part of Allah’s name at the time of writing. It is not remote to say, when changing of the letters is considered as effacement, that the rule of holy names is not applied to them, though caution lies in refraining from touching them without wuḍū’.
Rules of the Ghusl of Janābah
Q 166: In case of shortage of time is it permissible for an individual who is in the condition of janābah to offer prayer with tayammum, while his body and clothes are najis or should he clean himself, perform the ghusl, and offer the missed prayer as qaḍā’?
A: If there is not sufficient time to purify his body and clothes, or to change the clothes, and it is not possible to offer the prayer while naked due to coldness or the like, he should pray with tayammum instead of performing the ghusl of janābah and with these najis clothes. This prayer is valid, satisfies his obligation, and he is not obliged to repeat it later.
Q 167: Sometimes semen enters the womb without penetration. Does it result in janābah for the female?
A: That does not cause janābah.
Q 168: Is it obligatory for women to perform ghusl after a vaginal examination with medical instruments?
A: Ghusl is not obligatory as long as there is no emission of manī.
Q 169: If penetration of only the glans occurs with no ejaculation of semen and the woman has not reached orgasm, is ghusl obligatory for her, him, or both?
A: If penetration occurs, even of the glans only, ghusl will be obligatory for both of them.
Q 170: In respect of women’s nocturnal emission, when does ghusl become obligatory for them? Is the discharge that comes out at the time of caressing and foreplay considered manī? And is it obligatory for them to perform ghusl despite the fact that they do not have an orgasm or do not feel weakness in the body? In general, when do women become junub without intercourse?
A: When a woman reaches orgasm and a fluid is discharged from her, she becomes junub and ghusl of janābah becomes obligatory for her. But if she doubts whether she reached such a stage or not or whether the discharge came out or not, ghusl would not be obligatory for her.
Q 171: Is reading books or watching films that are sexually arousing permissible?
A: It is impermissible.
Q 172: A woman performed ghusl after intercourse with her husband, but his semen remained in her vagina. Is her ghusl valid if the semen comes out after ghusl? Is the semen that comes out later najis? Does it make her junub again?
A: Her ghusl is correct and if the discharge that comes out from her after ghusl is semen or manī, it is najis. However, if it is her husband’s semen, it would not lead to a new state of janābah.
Q 173: I have been afflicted with doubts in the ghusl of janābah for some time, so much so that I do not have intercourse with my wife. Nevertheless, now and again I find myself in a state that I think I must perform ghusl of janābah. In fact I take ghusl twice or thrice a day. This doubting has made me helpless. What am I to do?
A: The rule concerning janābah does not apply in case of doubt unless there is a discharge accompanied by the shar‘ī signs of semen discharge, or one is certain of the discharge of semen.
Q 174: Is the ghusl of janābah performed during the menstrual period valid so as to discharge a junub woman of her duty?
A: In the case mentioned, the validity of the ghusl performed is problematic.
Q 175: Is a menstruating woman who becomes junub or a junub woman who starts her monthly period obliged to perform both ghusls after she becomes clean? Or if a janābah state occurs during menstruation, would not ghusl of janābah be obligatory for her due to the fact that she was not clean when janābah occurs?
A: In both cases, ghusl for janābah is obligatory for her in addition to ghusl of menses, but practically it is permissible to perform only ghusl of janābah, although caution lies in making intention to perform both ghusls while doing one ghusl.
Q 176: When is a discharge from a male considered to be semen?
A: For a healthy man, when it is accompanied by sexual excitement, weakness of the body and spurt, it is subject to the rule of semen.
Q 177: In some cases it is observed that after ghusl there remain traces of soap or chalk around the fingernails and toenails that were not visible in the bathroom; however, after coming out from the bathroom the whiteness of soap becomes visible. Some people do ghusl and wuḍū’ without knowing this rule or paying attention to it. What is one’s duty in such cases, as it is uncertain whether water has reached the skin under the white trace or not?
A: The mere presence of a layer of chalk or soap, that becomes visible after the body dries up, does not harm the validity of wuḍū’ or ghusl, except when it makes an obstacle that prevents water from reaching the skin.
Q 178: Some brother says that it is obligatory to purify the body off najāsah, such as semen and the like, before the ghusl, and if it is purified during the ghusl, ghusl will be invalid. Supposing what he says is right, are the prayers I performed earlier invalid, and is repeating them obligatory, keeping in view that I did not know this matter?
A: It is not obligatory that the whole body be pure before starting the ghusl. Rather it is sufficient to purify each part of the body before its ghusl. Thus, if each part is purified before its ghusl, ghusl and the prayers performed with it are both correct. But if the part is not purified before making its ghusl and one wants to purify it and perform its ghusl with one wash, the ghusl and the prayers performed with such a ghusl are both invalid and it would be obligatory to repeat the prayers as qaḍā’.
Q 179: Is the discharge occurring during sleep considered semen if it is not accompanied with the three signs (ejaculation, sexual excitement, and weakness of the body) and it is not noticed except after awakening and observing wetness on one’s underclothing?
A: If all the three signs of discharging semen or one of them does not exist or you are doubtful about it, the discharged moisture is not ruled as semen unless you are certain in one way or another that it is semen.
Q 180: I am young and live in a poor family. I have very frequent emissions of semen and I am ashamed to ask my father to give me the money for the bathhouse expenses, as we do not have a bathroom in our house. Please guide me.
A: There is no reason to be ashamed of carrying out shar‘ī duties, and shame cannot be a legitimate excuse for not carrying out an obligation. In any case, if you are not able to perform ghusl for janābah, your duty is to perform tayammum instead of ghusl for praying and fasting.
Q 181: I am faced with a problem, i.e. even a single drop of water is so harmful for my body that even it should not be wiped. While washing my body, even a part of it, my heartbeat increases along with other symptoms. Is it permissible for me in such a condition to have intercourse with my wife, to do tayammum instead of ghusl for several months, and to pray and enter the masjid with this tayammum?
A: It is not obligatory for you to refrain from intercourse and after becoming junub, if you are excused from performing ghusl of janābah, your shar‘ī duty is to do tayammum instead of ghusl for the acts that require ghusl. And with tayammum, there is no impediment to your entering a masjid, offering prayer, touching the script of the Noble Qur’an and all the other acts that require ghusl.
Q 182: Is it obligatory to face the qiblah during the obligatory or mustaḥabb ghusl?
A: Facing the qiblah during ghusl is not obligatory.
Q 183: Is it valid to perform ghusl with the water already used for ghusl of janābah knowing that ghusl was done with qalīl water and the body was pure before it?
A: In the given case, there is no objection to doing ghusl with this water.
Q 184: During ghusl of janābah a wuḍū’ invalidator occurred. Is it obligatory to repeat ghusl or to finish it and to do wuḍū’?
A: It is not obligatory to repeat the ghusl and it does not affect the correctness of the ghusl. Rather, one should complete his ghusl. However, it does not remove the necessity of doing wuḍū’ for prayers and other acts that require wuḍū’.
Q 185: After urination thick discharge resembling semen came out involuntarily and without any sexual excitement. Is it subject to the rule of semen?
A: It is not subject to the rule of semen unless one is certain that it is semen, or it is accompanied with the three shar‘ī signs of semen discharge.
Q 186: When there are several mustaḥabb or obligatory ghusls to be performed, is performing one sufficient for all the rest?
A: If one performs one ghusl with the intention of performing all of them, it is sufficient. However, if one of them is ghusl of janābah and the intention is made to perform it, it suffices for all other ghusls, although caution is to make the intention for all of them.
Q 187: Do the ghusls other than ghusl of janābah relieve one of making wuḍū’?
A: They do not replace wuḍū’.
Q 188: In the janābah ghusl, is it necessary that water flows over the body?
A: The standard is the real meaning of washing the body with the intention of ghusl and the flowing of water over it is not a condition.
Q 189: One knows that if he becomes junub by having intercourse with his wife, he would have no water for the ghusl or there would not be enough time for both ghusl and prayers, is it permissible for him to have intercourse?
A: Although it is not possible for him to make ghusl, there is no objection to having intercourse with his wife if he is able to perform tayammum.
Q 190: Is it sufficient in the ghusl of janābah to observe the order between the head and the other parts of the body, or is the observance of order necessary in washing the two sides as well?
A: It is necessary, based on obligatory caution, to observe the order between the two sides by washing the right side before the left one.
Q 191: When one is going to perform the sequential ghusl, is there any problem if one washes first his back then makes the intention and perform the sequential ghusl thereafter?
A: There is no objection to washing one’s back or any other part of the body before making the intention for ghusl and starting it. The way of doing sequential ghusl is to make the intention for ghusl after making the body pure. Thereafter, one washes his head and neck first, then, according to the obligatory caution, washes the right half of the body, and, afterwards, the left one.
Q 192: Is it obligatory for women to wash all the hair during ghusl? And if water does not reach all the hair in ghusl does it make the ghusl invalid, even if one knows that water has reached the entire scalp?
A: It is an obligatory caution to wash the whole hair.
Rules of an Invalid Ghusl
Q 193: Someone reaches the age of shar‘ī puberty but does not know that ghusl is obligatory and how to make it; and in this way he passes about ten years before coming to know about taqlīd and that ghusl is obligatory? What is his duty concerning qaḍā’ of his fasts and prayers?
A: It is obligatory for him to do qaḍā’ of the prayers offered in the state of janābah. As far as fasting is concerned, then if one doubts as to whether remaining junub invalidates the fast or not and fasts in the state of janābah, his fast, according to the obligatory caution, is void (1) and he must perform its qaḍā’. However, if one is certain that remaining junub will not invalidate the fast and fasts on such grounds, his fast is alright, yet observing caution in doing its qaḍā’ is good.
Q 194: A youth has been masturbating due to ignorance before reaching fourteen and after. As he did not know that discharging semen makes him junub and he is required to do ghusl for praying and fasting, he did not perform the ghusl after the discharge of semen. What is his duty? Is it obligatory for him to perform the ghusls of this period during which he was masturbating and had seminal discharge? Are all his prayers and fasts made during this period and until now invalid and should he repeat them?
A: A single ghusl of janābah is sufficient for all past discharges of semen. And it is obligatory for him to make qaḍā’ of all prayers he is certain he offered in the state of janābah. As to the fasts, if he did that at the nights of the month of Ramadan while did not know that he was junub, he is not be obligated to make up for these fasts in qaḍā’ and they are ruled as valid. But if he knew that he had had a discharge of semen and had been junub but doubted whether remaining junub invalidates the fast or not and kept fast while being junub, his fast was, according to the obligatory caution, void and he should make up for it in qaḍā’ as well. However, if he was certain that remaining junub does not invalidate the fast and fasted depending on such basis, his fast was alright, yet observing caution in doing its qaḍā’ is good.
Q 195: Someone was junub and performed the ghusl, but his ghusl was incorrect and invalid. What is his duty concerning the prayers that he has offered after such a ghusl if he did not know of its invalidity?
A: Prayers performed with an invalid ghusl are invalid and it is obligatory to repeat them or do their qaḍā’.
Q 196: I took a bath with the intention of performing an obligatory ghusl, and after leaving the bathroom I doubted whether I observed the order in making ghusl or not. As I thought the mere intention of sequence is sufficient, I did not repeat the ghusl. Now, I wonder if I should perform the qaḍā’ of all the prayers offered thereafter?
A: As per the given case, you have no duty. Yet, if you become certain that your ghusl was invalid, it is obligatory for you to repeat all the prayers in qaḍā’.
Q 197: I used to do ghusl of janābah in this order: first, the right side of the body, then the head, and thirdly the left side. What is my duty in regard to the prayers I offered and the fasts I kept, taking into consideration that I had dealt with this issue with negligence and did not ask and investigate about it?
A: ghusl performed in the mentioned manner is invalid and does not remove the state of janābah. Accordingly, the prayers performed with such a ghusl are invalid and making their qaḍā’ is obligatory. As for the fasts, they are considered valid as you believed that ghusl in the said manner was valid and you had not remained junub intentionally.
Q 198: Is it ḥarām for the junub person to recite those Qur’anic chapters with obligatory prostration?
A: Among the acts prohibited for a junub person is the recitation of these specific verses that require prostration, but it is no problem for him to recite the other verses of the same chapter.
(1) When the fast is void by obligatory caution, the person is required to keep fasting and to make up for it in qaḍā’ later on.
Rules of Tayammum
Q 199: In performing tayammum on things upon which tayammum is valid, such as soil, plaster of Paris, stone, and rock, is it all right to do it when they are fixed on a wall, or is it necessary that they be on the ground?
A: It is not a condition for the validity of tayammum that they should be on the ground.
Q 200: One becomes junub (e.g. after ejaculation) and there is no access to the bath and the state of janābah remains for several days. Then, if he prayed with tayammum instead of ghusl and thereafter a wuḍū’ invalidator happened, is he obliged to perform again tayammum instead of ghusl for the later prayers? Or is the first tayammum enough for janābah and it is obligatory to do wuḍū’ or tayammum for the following prayers due to the occurrence of wuḍū’ invalidator?
A: When a junub person performs a valid tayammum as a substitute for the ghusl of janābah and a wuḍū’ invalidator occurs later, then as long as the excuse of performing tayammum instead of ghusl is existing it is of obligatory caution for him to perform tayammum instead of ghusl for every act that requires being in a state of purity and then to do wuḍū’, as well,. If he is excused from wuḍū’, he is to perform another tayammum instead of wuḍū’.
Q 201: Do the rules of ghusl apply to tayammum performed as a substitute for ghusl in the sense that it is permissible to enter a masjid with it?
A: As long as tayammum is not invalidated and the excuse for not performing ghusl exists, all shar‘ī effects of ghusl apply to tayammum performed as a substitute for it, except when it is performed due to shortness of time.
Q 202: Is it permissible for one, suffering from incontinence of urine due to spinal cord injury in the war, to perform tayammum as a substitute for mustaḥabb ghusl like Friday ghusl, and ghusl for visiting the Infallibles’ shrines and so on, as it is somewhat difficult for him to go to bathroom?
A: The correctness of tayammum as a substitute for ghusl — in order to perform those practices for which purity is not a condition — is problematic. However, there is no objection to doing it as a substitute for mustaḥabb ghusls, in cases involving unbearable hardship, in the hope that it is desired by shar‘.
Q 203: One who cannot find water, or one for whom using water is harmful, performs tayammum instead of the ghusl of janābah. Is it permissible for him to enter a masjid and attend congregational prayer? What about reciting the Holy Qur’an?
A: As long as the excuse permitting tayammum is not removed and the tayammum remains valid, he is allowed to perform all the acts for which purity is required.
Q 204: Someone had a discharge during sleep and on waking up he does not remember anything but finds wetness on his clothes. There is no time for him to sit and try to remember, for there is little time remaining to offer the morning prayer. What is one to do in such a state? How is he to make the intent for tayammum as substitution for the ghusl? What is the basic rule?
A: If one knows that there was discharge of semen, he is junub and, thus, ghusl is obligatory for him. If the time is short, he must do tayammum after cleaning his body from najāsah, pray, and do ghusl afterwars. But when there is doubt concerning discharge of semen and janābah, the rule of being in a state of janābah does not apply to him.
Q 205: If a person becomes junub on several successive nights, what is his duty, in view of what has been mentioned in the noble traditions that taking a bath continuously for several days causes weakness?
A: It is obligatory for him to perform ghusl unless using water is harmful for him, in which case his duty is to perform tayammum.
Q 206: I am in an abnormal condition in which I suffer from frequent involuntary emissions of semen, which are not accompanied with sexual pleasure. What is my duty in regard to each prayer?
A: If doing ghusl for every prayer is harmful, or involves unbearable hardship for you, you can offer prayers with tayammum after cleaning your body.
Q 207: Someone abstains from performing ghusl of janābah for the morning prayer and does tayammum believing that he would fall sick if he performs ghusl. What is the rule?
A: If he believes ghusl to be harmful for him, there is no problem in doing tayammum, and the prayer offered therewith is valid.
Q 208: How can we perform tayammum? Is there any difference between the method of tayammum done instead of wuḍū’ and that done instead of ghusl?
A: Tayammum should be done as follows: First, one makes the intention. Then, the entire palms of the two hands are hit at the same time on something on which tayammum is correct and they are passed together over the entire forehead and both sides of it from the hair line to the eyebrows and the upper part of the nose. Thereafter the left palm is passed over the back of the entire right hand and the right palm over the back of the entire left hand. Also, based on obligatory caution, one should hit both palms, again, on something on which tayammum is correct and then to rub the left palm over the back of the entire right hand and the right palm over the back of the entire left hand. The same procedure is followed whether tayammum is to be done instead of wuḍū’ or ghusl.
Q 209: What is the ruling of doing tayammum on gypsum, limestone, their baked pieces and bricks?
A: Tayammum should be done as follows: First, one makes the intention. Then, the entire palms of the two hands are hit at the same time on something on which tayammum is correct and they are passed together over the entire forehead and both sides of it from the hair line to the eyebrows and the upper part of the nose. Thereafter the left palm is passed over the back of the entire right hand and the right palm over the back of the entire left hand. Also, based on obligatory caution, one should hit both palms, again, on something on which tayammum is correct and then to rub the left palm over the back of the entire right hand and the right palm over the back of the entire left hand. The same procedure is followed whether tayammum is to be done instead of wuḍū’ or ghusl.
Q 210: You have stated that things on which we can do tayammum should be pure. Is it obligatory for body parts involved in tayammum — i.e. forehead and back of the hands — to be pure as well?
A: It is based on caution that, whenever possible, forehead and the back of the hands should be pure. If one could not purify them, he would perform it without purification, although it is not remote that it is not necessary for them to be pure in any case.
Q 211: If one is not able to perform wuḍū’ and tayammum is not possible either, what is his duty?
A: If he is neither able to perform wuḍū’ for prayer nor tayammum, he should offer his prayer, as per caution, within its specific time without them and make it up in qaḍā’ with wuḍū’ or tayammum later on.
Q 212: I am suffering from a skin disease i.e. the skin dries up whenever I take a bath or even wash my hands or face. Accordingly, I am forced to apply oil to my skin and that creates difficulty when doing wuḍū’, especially when doing it for the morning prayer. Is it permissible for me to do tayammum instead of wuḍū’, for morning prayers?
A: If using water is harmful for you, it is incorrect to do wuḍū’, and you should do tayammum instead. But if doing wuḍū’ is not harmful and the mentioned oil does not prevent water from reaching the skin of the body parts involved in wuḍū’, you should perform wuḍū’. Also, if the oil acts as a barrier between water and skin and you can clean the oil, do wuḍū’, and apply the oil again, tayammum will not be accepted from you.
Q 213: A person prays with tayammum due to shortness of time, and after completing the prayer he comes to know that there was enough time to do wuḍū’. What is the rule concerning his prayer?
A: It is obligatory for him to repeat that prayer.
Q 214: We live in a cold area where there is no bathroom or any place for bathing. At times we wake up in a state of janābah before the morning adhān during the blessed month of Ramadan. As it is shameful for youths to get up at midnight before the eyes of the people and to take a bath with the water of a water-skin or a pool, and water is also cold at that time, what is our duty concerning fasting on the next day in such a condition? Is tayammum permissible? And what is the rule if one were not to fast for not having performed the ghusl?
A: Sole difficulty of an act or that one is embarrassed to do it in front of people’s eyes is not a shar‘ī excuse. Rather, one is obliged to take ghusl in any manner that he can, as long as it does not involve hardship on the mukallaf or harm. In case it is harmful or unbearably difficult, he can perform tayammum instead. If he does tayammum instead of ghusl before the fajr adhān, his fast is valid, and if he does not do tayammum, his fast would be invalid; but it is obligatory for him anyway to refrain from eating and drinking throughout the day.
Rules Pertaining to Women
Q 215: My mother is a descendant of the Noble Prophet (s.), am I also considered as a sayyid? Can I consider the blood I see until the age of sixty as menses and abstain from praying and fasting during it?
A: To determine the age of menopause is a matter of caution and contemplation. As far as this issue is concerned, women may refer to another mujtahid who enjoys all requirements.
Q 216: What is the duty of a woman whose menses start while she is observing a fast to fulfill a nadhr of fasting on the very day?
A: Her fast is nullified by the start of menses, even if they cover only a part of the day of the fast, and it is obligatory for her to make the fast up after being cleansed.
Q 217: What is the rule pertaining to spotting seen by a woman after she is convinced that she has become cleansed, and is certain that the spot neither possesses the properties of blood nor that of blood mixed with water?
A: If it is not blood, it does not fall under the category of menstruation. But if it is blood, even in the form of yellow spotting, and does not exceed ten days – by one day, it is meant a day, as perceived by common view, i.e. from sunrise to sunset - of the period, all these sorts of spotting are considered menses. Determining the nature of the liquid rests with the woman.
Q 218: What is the rule concerning postponement of menses by using medicines for the purpose of fasting the month of Ramadan?
A: There is no objection to it.
Q 219: If slight bleeding occurs during pregnancy, though it does not result in miscarriage, is it obligatory for a woman to perform the ghusl? What is her duty?
A: Any blood discharged during pregnancy and either possesses the properties and conditions of menstruation or it happens at the time of her usual period is considered as menses provided that it continues — even it is only internal bleeding — for three days. Otherwise it is ruled to be istiḥāḍah.
Q 220: A woman who has had regular monthly periods of seven days, for example, has a discharge for twelve days as a result of using a contraceptive device. Is the discharge after the seventh day to be considered menstruation, or is it istiḥāḍah?
A: If the bleeding does not stop after the tenth day, the blood on the days of the regular monthly period is ruled as menses, and the remaining days of bleeding as istiḥāḍah.
Q 221: Is it permissible for a menstruating woman or for a woman in ‘puerperium’ to enter the shrines of the Imams’ descendants (a.)?
A: It is permissible.
Q 222: Is a woman who has undergone abortion curettage categorized as having ‘puerperium’ or not?
A: The discharge of blood after miscarriage, even when the fetus is just a clot-like structure, is ruled to be ‘puerperium’.
Q 223: To which category does the blood discharged after ‘menopause’ belong? What is the shar‘ī duty of such a woman?
A: It is ruled as istiḥāḍah.
Q 224: One of the methods of preventing unwanted births is the use of contraceptive pills, and women who take these pills get blood spots during and outside their menstrual time. What is the rule applicable to these spots?
A: If these spots do not possess the criteria mentioned in Islamic law for menstruation, they are not considered menses. Rather the rules of istiḥāḍah apply to them.
Rules of the Dead
Q 225: Is the person carrying out ghusl, shrouding and burial for the deceased to be of the same sex as that of the dead person? Or is it allowed for a person of the opposite sex to perform the affairs of the dead body?
A: The person who gives ghusl to the deceased must be of the same sex as them. Hence, when it is possible that the ghusl is given by a person of the same gender, it is not valid if a person of the opposite sex engages in it. But it is not necessary that shrouding and burying are performed by the same gender.
Q 226: It is presently common in villages to wash the dead at home, and at times the dead person has no executor (of a will) and has minor children. So what is your opinion concerning such situations?
A: The performance of acts generally necessary for the funeral, including its ghusl, shrouding and burial, does not depend upon the permission of the minor’s guardian, and the presence of minor children among the heirs is no problem.
Q 227: A person dies in a collision or by falling from a height. What is the duty in case bleeding continues after death? Is it obligatory to wait till it stops by itself or by using medical means, or can it be buried despite the continuation of the bleeding?
A: Before performing the ghusl, it is obligatory to purify the corpse, if possible. And it is obligatory to wait for the bleeding to stop, or to stop it, if possible.
Q 228: While digging a canal in a public square, formerly a cemetery, a bone belonging to a corpse buried forty to fifty years ago is found. Is there anything wrong in touching such bones for the purpose of viewing them? Are the bones najis?
A: The bone of a Muslim corpse that has been given ghusl is not najis, though it is obligatory to bury it again under the ground.
Q 229: Is it permissible for a person to shroud his father, mother or a relative with a shroud that he had bought for himself?
A: There is no objection to it.
Q 230: A medical team is constrained, for the purpose of conducting medical research and experiments, to remove the heart and some other organs from a corpse and to bury them a day after the study. Please answer the following questions:
i. Is it permissible for us to undertake such an activity despite our knowledge that these corpses on whom the tests are conducted belong to Muslims?
ii. Is it permissible to bury the heart and some body organs separately?
iii. Is it permissible to bury these parts with another corpse, especially when we are certain that the separate burial of the heart and these organs will cause many problems?
A: As long as saving a respectful human life, getting access to medical experiments needed for the society, or providing information about a disease threatening people’s lives depends on dissection of a dead body, dissection is permissible. However, it is necessary, as far as it is possible to dissect a non-Muslim’s body, not to dissect a Muslim’s cadaver. As to the organs removed from a Muslim corpse, the rules of Islamic law say that they should be buried along with the body. If it is not possible, there is no objection to burying them separately or with another corpse.
Q 231: A person buys a shroud for himself and he always spreads it out to offer obligatory and mustaḥabb prayers and to recite the Noble Qur’an on, and at the time of death it is used for shrouding him. Is this permissible? Is it correct from the Islamic point of view for a person to buy for himself a shroud and write Qur’anic verses on it with the sole purpose of being shrouded in it after death?
A: There is no problem in doing any of the things stated.
Q 232: Recently a woman’s skeleton was discovered in an ancient grave dating back to about seven hundred years. It is big and in an intact state with some hair on the skull. According to the archeologists who discovered it, it is the body of a Muslim woman. Is it permissible for this immense and extraordinary corpse to be displayed by the Museum of Natural Sciences (after repairing the grave and placing the body in it) for the visitors for educational purposes, or to serve as a reminder by displaying it with suitable verses and traditions.
A: If it is confirmed that this skeleton belongs to a Muslim, it is obligatory to bury it again, immediately.
Q 233: In a village there is a graveyard that is neither the private property of anyone nor an endowment. Is it permissible for the inhabitants of the village to prevent the dead from the city or other villages, or someone who has willed to be buried there, from being buried in it?
A: If the public graveyard in the village is neither the private property of anyone nor an endowment for the specific use of the villagers, they are not allowed to prevent others from burying their dead in it. And if anyone makes a will to be buried there, it is obligatory to act according to this will.
Q 234: According to some traditions, such as the one in the book “La‘ālī al-Akhbār, it is mustaḥabb to sprinkle water on graves. Is this recommendation limited to the day of burial or is it general, as maintained by the author of this book? What is your eminence’s opinion?
A: Sprinkling water on the grave on the day of burial is mustaḥabb and there is no problem in doing so later on in the hope that this maybe desired in shar‘.
Q 235: Why is a dead body not buried at night? Is burial prohibited during the night?
A: There is no problem in burying the dead at night.
Q 236: A person who died in a car accident was given ghusl, shrouded and brought to the graveyard. When the body was about to be buried, they found that its coffin and shroud were stained with the blood which had come out of his head. Is it obligatory to change the shroud in such a situation?
A: If it is possible to wash the bloodstained area or cut it off or change the shroud, it is obligatory to do so; otherwise it is permissible to bury the corpse in that state.
Q 237: It is three months that a corpse with blood stained shroud has been buried, is it permissible to exhume it?
A: In the given question, it is not permissible to exhume it.
Q 238: We request your eminence to reply to the following three questions:
i. If a woman dies in childbirth, what the rule is pertaining to the unborn baby in the womb in the following circumstances:
a. If the soul has recently entered it (after three months or more) and there is a strong possibility of its death upon being removed from the womb.
b. If the age of the fetus is seven months or more.
c. If the fetus has died in the womb.
ii. If a woman dies during childbirth, is it obligatory for the others to fully ascertain whether the unborn baby is dead or alive?
iii. If a woman dies during childbirth while the baby is still alive in her womb, and a person orders, in violation of the common practice, the mother’s burial along with the unborn child even if it is alive, what is your opinion in this regard?
A: If the unborn fetus dies by the death of its mother or its mother’s death happens before the soul enters its body, it is not obligatory to bring it out; rather to do so is not permissible. But if the fetus is alive in the womb of its dead mother and the soul has entered its body and there is a chance of its surviving until the time it is taken out, it is obligatory to take it out immediately. Unless the death of the fetus in the womb of its dead mother is ascertained, it is not permissible to bury her along with the fetus. If a living fetus is buried with its dead mother and there is a probability of its being alive even after the burial, it is obligatory to immediately exhume her body and bring it out of the womb. Similarly, if keeping a fetus alive in its dead mother’s womb depends upon not burying her, apparently her burial should be delayed to protect the fetus’s life. If someone says that it is permissible to bury the dead woman with the living fetus in her womb, and others, assuming his view to be correct, bury her and it leads to the fetus death in the grave, its blood money lies with one who actually buried her. But, if the death of the fetus is directly attributed to the opinion expressed by that person, he is held liable for the blood money.
Q 239: The municipal authorities have given an order to build two-storied graves to ensure better utilization of land. We request you to expound the rule of Islamic law in this regard.
A: It is permissible to build multi-level graves for Muslims provided that it does not result in the reopening of a Muslim’s grave and disrespect to his/her body.
Q 240: A child fell into a well and died in it, and its water prevents the body from being retrieved. What is the rule applicable to it?
A: It will be left in the well, which will be the child’s grave. And if the well is not someone’s property or if its owner agrees to close it, it is obligatory to close it.
Q 241: It is customary in our region to perform the traditional chest beating and hitting with chains only during mourning ceremonies of the virtuous Imams (a.s.), martyrs, and major religious figures. Is it permissible to perform these rituals on the death of such persons who belonged to Voluntary Forces or those who were engaged in providing some kind of service to the Islamic government and the Muslim nation?
A: There is no problem in doing so.
Q 242: What is the rule applicable to a person who considers nightly visits to graveyards as effective in instilling Islamic values despite the knowledge that visiting graveyards at night is makrūh?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q 243: Is it permissible for women to participate in funeral ceremonies and to carry the coffin?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q 244: It is a custom among some tribes to borrow money, on the death of some persons, for buying a large number of sheep (which causes a substantial loss) to feed all who participate in the mourning ceremonies. Is it permissible to incur such a burden for complying with the customs?
A: If the cost of preparing the food is being borne by the adult heirs of the deceased and with their consent, it is permissible. However, if this act results in financial loss and problems, it is to be avoided. In case the money is to be spent from the deceased’s estate, the spending should be according to the provisions of the will. In general, one should avoid any kind of extravagance that may result in wasting the Divine bounties.
Q 245: If a person is killed at the present time by a mine in a certain region, are the rules of a martyr applicable to him?
A: The rule of burial without ghusl and shrouding is exclusively for a martyr who has been killed on the battlefield.
Q 246: Brothers in the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps frequently travel between Mahabad and Urumiyeh (in Iran) and other areas where they are at times ambushed and engaged in combat by elements hostile to the Islamic Revolution leading, sometimes, to their martyrdom. Is it obligatory to give them ghusl or tayammum, or will it be considered a battlefield?
A: If that region is a battleground between the forces of truth and the deviant insurgent band, the rules pertaining to a martyr are applicable to someone who belongs to the forces of truth and is martyred there.
Q 247: Is it valid for a person who does not meet the conditions for leading a congregational prayer to lead the people in the prayers offered over the body of a deceased believer?
A: It is not remote that the conditions considered essential for imam and the congregation in other prayers are not necessary in the prayer over the deceased, though they may be also observed, as a caution, in prayer over the deceased.
Q 248: If a believer is killed in some parts of the world for the sake of the implementation of Islamic Law, participation in protest rallies, or for the application of Ja‘farī jurisprudence, is he considered a martyr?
A: He is entitled to the reward and merit of a martyr, though the rules of martyr concerning the burial rites are specifically meant for those who have been martyred in action during war.
Q 249: If a Muslim is sentenced to death in accordance with the law and approval of the judiciary on the charge of drug trafficking and the sentence is carried out:
i. Is it valid to offer the prayer for the dead upon him?
ii. What is the rule concerning participation in mourning ceremonies held for such a person as well as recitation of the Noble Qur’an and elegies of the Ahlul-Bayt (a.)?
A: A Muslim who has been given the death sentence is like all other Muslims and all the rules applicable to them are applicable to him, including the Islamic rites pertaining to the dead.
Q 250: Does touching a bone that has flesh on it and has been amputated from a living person require the ghusl of touching a corpse?
A: It is not obligatory to perform ghusl after touching a body part which has been amputated from a living body.
Q 251: Does touching an organ or body part which has been separated from a dead body obligate performing of ghusl of touching a corpse?
A: If the touching of this organ is made after it became cold and before it is washed as corpse ghusl, it has the same ruling as that of touching a dead body.
Q 252: Is it obligatory to direct the dying Muslim towards qiblah?
A: It is advisable to place a dying Muslim to lying down on his back and to direct the bottom of his feet towards the qiblah. Many mujtahids believe that it is obligatory for the dying person himself — if he can — or for the others to do this and caution in doing so is not to be neglected.
Q 253: When a tooth is extracted, some tissue of the gum also comes out with it. Does touching this tissue require performance of the ghusl of touching a corpse?
A: Ghusl does not become obligatory in this case.
Q 254: Do the rules pertaining to touching a corpse apply to touching a Muslim martyr who had been buried in his clothes?
A: Touching the body of a martyr for whom ghusl and shrouding are not obligatory does not necessitate the ghusl of touching a corpse.
Q 255: I am a medical student and am forced at times to touch cadavers while performing dissection without knowing whether the cadavers belong to Muslims or not, or have been given ghusl or not, though the officials say that these bodies have definitely been given ghusl. With attention to what has been said, please explain our duty with respect to prayers and other religious acts after touching these bodies. With reference to what has been said, is ghusl obligatory for us?
A: If it is not ascertained that the cadavers have been given ghusl and you have doubts in this regard, the ghusl of touching a corpse is obligatory for you when touching such a cadaver or a part of it and prayers offered without performing this ghusl are invalid. But, if it is assured that the cadaver has been given ghusl, it is not obligatory to perform ghusl upon touching it, even if there is a doubt about the validity of its ghusl.
Q 256: A martyr whose name and address were not known was buried. After a month certain facts were disclosed indicating that the martyr was not a resident of the city (where he was buried). Is it permissible to exhume his body for the sake of carrying it to his own city?
A: If he was buried in accordance with the rules and norms of Islam, exhuming his body is not permissible.
Q 257: If it were possible to know what is inside a grave by filming its contents without digging and removing the earth, would it be like opening and exhuming the grave?
A: Taking pictures of a buried corpse without digging and, exhuming the grave, and exposing the body are not considered as exhumation.
Q 258: The municipal authorities intend to demolish the chambers surrounding a graveyard for widening the lanes. Is it permissible? And is it permissible to exhume the bones of the dead and bury them elsewhere?
A: The demolition and exhumation of the graves of the believers are not permissible even for the purpose of widening the lanes. In the case where exhumation occurs and a Muslim’s corpse or his bones that had not yet decomposed are uncovered, it is obligatory to bury them again.
Q 259: If someone starts demolishing a Muslim graveyard without paying attention to the rules of Islamic law, what is the duty of other Muslims in regard to this person?
A: It is obligatory for the others to forbid him from evil while observing all of its conditions and grades and if the bones of Muslim’s body are uncovered due to this act, it would be obligatory to bury them again.
Q 260: My father was buried thirty-six years ago in a graveyard and, presently, I am thinking of using that grave for myself with the permission of the Endowments Department. On this basis, is it necessary for me to get the permission of my brothers in this regard if this graveyard is an endowment?
A: For burying another dead body in a grave located in land that is a public endowment, it is not necessary to get the permission of the deceased’s heirs. But before the bones of the buried corpse decompose, it is not permissible to open the grave to bury another body.
Q 261: Please mention if there is a way to demolish a cemetery belonging to Muslims and converting it into other centers, and please explain it.
A: It is not permissible to change and transform a Muslim cemetery endowed for the burial of Muslims.
Q 262: Is it permissible, after getting the permission of the marji‘, who is followed in taqlīd, to exhume graves and use the cemetery, endowed for burying the dead, for an alternative purpose?
A: Permission of the marji` is of no avail in cases where it is not permissible to open a grave or to demolish a cemetery specified as an endowment for burying the dead. But if it falls under the exceptional cases, there would be no problem.
Q 263: A man died nearly twenty years ago. Some days ago a woman died in the same village and, by mistake, they dug the man’s grave and buried her in it. What is the rule in this regard presently, keeping in view that there was no trace of man’s body in the grave?
A: In the given case, they have to do nothing at this time, and the burial of a corpse in the grave of another corpse does not, by itself, act as a justification for opening the grave and transferring the body to another.
Q 264: There are four graves in the way of one of the roads, which obstruct the continuation of its construction. As there are shar‘ī problems involved in the opening of the graves, please guide us regarding what needs to be done so that the municipal authority does not commit an act violating Islamic law.
A: If the constructing of the road does not require digging up or opening the graves and it is possible to make it over them, or if it is necessary that the road be constructed where the graves are located, then there is no problem in constructing such a road.
Rules of Najis Substances
Q 265: Is blood pure?
A: The blood of an animal, whose blood gushes out when its body is cut, is najis.
Q 266: During a mourning ceremony for Imam Ḥusayn (a.) a person strikes his head forcefully against the wall and blood gushes out splashing on the heads and faces of other participants in the ceremony. Is this blood pure?
A: Human blood is najis in all circumstances.
Q 267: If a faint bloodstain remains on the dress after it has been washed, is that faint-colored stain najis?
A: If it is not the blood itself and only the color remains, it is pure.
Q 268: What is the rule pertaining to a spot of blood present in an egg?
A: It is considered pure, but eating it is ḥarām.
Q 269: What rule applies to the sweat of a person who has become junub by a forbidden act, and, similarly, to the sweat of an animal that is used to eating human excrement?
A: They are pure according to the strong opinion, although it is based on obligatory caution to abstain from praying with them.
Q 270: Are the drops of water, that fall from the dead body before its ghusl with pure water (the third ghusl) but after its ghusl with water mixed with lotus leaves and camphorated water, pure?
A: Until the third ghusl is not completed, the dead body is considered najis.
Q 271: Are the dead cells of the skin that at times fall off from the hands, lips and feet, pure or najis?
A: The fine skin that separates by itself from the hands, lips, feet or any other part of the body, is pure.
Q 272: A person on the war front faces a situation in which he is compelled to kill and eat a pig. Are the sweat on his body and his saliva considered najis?
A: The sweat and saliva of a person who has eaten ḥarām and najis meat is not najis. However, anything which comes in contact with pork in the presence of moisture is considered najis.
Q 273: In view of the use of brushes in painting and sketching, and considering that good quality brushes are imported from non-Islamic countries and are often made of pig’s hair and are accessible to all, especially in cultural and propagational centers, what is the legal rule regarding using such brushes?
A: Pig’s hair is najis and its use is not permissible in situations where purity is required by Islamic law; but there is no problem in using it where purity is not necessary. Further, if it is not known whether the brush is made of pig’s hair or not, there is no problem in its use even in cases where purity is required.
Q 274: Is it permissible to eat meat which is imported from non-Islamic countries? And what is the ruling regarding its purity?
A: Unless its ritual slaughtering is known for sure, eating it is ḥarām. However, as far as purity is concerned, if one is not certain that it has not been slaughtered ritually, it is considered pure.
Q 275: Would you mind clearing up for us your respected opinion regarding leather and other animal parts that are imported from non-Muslim countries?
A: If you think that the animal may have been slaughtered ritually, it is pure. But in case you are sure of its not having been ritually slaughtered, it is ruled to be najis.
Q 276: If the clothes of a junub person become najis with semen, what is the rule if a hand touches the clothes when there is moisture in any one of them? Secondly, is it permissible for the junub person to give this dress to another for washing it? Is it obligatory for him to inform the person who wants to wash the dress about its najāsah?
A: Semen is najis, and if it comes into contact with something with transmitting moisture, it makes the latter najis. It is not necessary to inform the person washing the dress about its najāsah. However, unless the owner of the clothes becomes certain about their purity, he could not apply rules of purity to them.
Q 277: After urination I did istibrā’, but after that a liquid smelling like semen was discharged. Is this liquid najis? Please explain the rule applicable to me for performing prayers?
A: If you are not sure that it is semen, and the shar‘ī signs for the discharge of semen do not accompany it, then the semen rule does not apply to it and it is ruled to be pure.
Q 278: Are the droppings of a bird whose meat is not ḥalāl, like that of a crow, an eagle, or a parrot, najis?
A: They are not najis.
Q 279: Scholars mention in their treatises on practical laws of Islam that the droppings of the animals and birds whose meat is religiously not eaten are najis. If this is true, then are the droppings of the religiously edible animals and birds, such as the cow, sheep and chicken, najis or not?
A: Droppings of religiously edible birds and animals and that of religiously non-edible birds, as well, are pure.
Q 280: If there is a najāsah [such as excrement] in or around a lavatory, and there still remain some traces of the najāsah after the place is washed with kurr or qalīl water, is the place where there is no najāsah but the water has certainly reached, najis or pure?
A: The place where najis water has not reached is considered pure.
Q 281: If a guest makes any household appliance of his host najis, is it obligatory for him to inform the host about it?
A: If it is used in eating and drinking, he must inform the host. If it is something that lack of knowledge about its being najis invalidates wuḍū’ or ghusl, one must inform the host by obligatory caution. Otherwise, informing is not required.
Q 282: Something comes in contact with an extrinsically najis object. Does it become najis? And if it becomes najis, does it make anything else najis? What about the subsequent things in this chain?
A: The object, which contacts an intrinsically najis material and becomes najis, makes another thing najis if they come into contact with each other when one of the two is wet. The latter makes, by obligatory caution, another thing najis on contact. However this third extrinsically najis object does not make anything najis.
Q 283: When using leather shoes, the leather for which was made from an animal that was not ritually slaughtered, is it obligatory to wash one’s feet every time before performing wuḍū’? Some say: It is necessary to do so if the feet perspire in the shoes. And I have observed that the feet do sweat, either slightly or profusely, in all kinds of shoes. What is your opinion on this issue?
A: If a person is sure that his shoes are made of an animal’s skin which was not slaughtered ritually or he is sure that his feet have perspired in such shoes, it is obligatory for him to wash his feet for the purpose of praying. But in case of doubt about the sweating of the feet or whether or not that leather is obtained from a ritually slaughtered animal, the feet are ruled to be pure.
Q 284: What is the rule concerning a child’s wet hand, his saliva and leftover food if he regularly makes himself najis? What is the rule applicable to children who place their wet hands on their feet?
A: As long as it is not certain that they have become najis, they are considered pure.
Q 285: I am suffering from a gum disease and in the doctor’s opinion I must constantly massage it. But doing so leads to parts of the gums turning black and it looks as if blood has collected inside them, and when I place a tissue paper on them it becomes red. Therefore, I use kurr water to purify my mouth, though the blood that has clotted remains for some time and does not disappear on washing. Now, after contact with kurr water is broken, will the water that enters the mouth and is spitted out from the mouth, after passing over these parts and contacting with particles of blood clotted in the gums, be considered najis? Or will it be considered saliva and so clean?
A: It is considered pure, though it is better, according to caution, to abstain from it.
Q 286: I want to ask if the food which I eat and which comes into contact with the particles of blood coagulated in the gums becomes najis or not? If it does, does the oral cavity remain najis after the food is swallowed?
A: The food, in question, is not considered najis and there is no problem in swallowing it. The mouth also remains pure.
Q 287: For some time it has been rumored that cosmetics are made from the placenta when a fetus is delivered or from the dead fetus itself. We use these materials at times, rather some lipstick is swallowed, is it najis?
A: Rumors do not constitute shar‘ī proof that cosmetics are najis, and there is no objection to using them unless their najāsah is confirmed by a reliable shar‘ī method.
Q 288: Minute hair-like fibers fall off from every dress and pieces of cloth, and we find these minute fibers if we observe the water in a washtub while washing clothes. Accordingly, when the washtub is full of water and connected with tap water, by immersing clothes in it the water overflows from its sides. Due to the presence of these minute fibers in the overflowing water, as a caution I clean the whole place. Or when I take off the children’s najis clothes I wash the place where these clothes were taken off even if it is dry, because I think those minute fibers have fallen there. Is observing such cautions necessary?
A: If a cloth is put into a washtub for washing and a tap water flows on it until it is completely soaked with water and then the water separates from the cloth or moves within the cloth, the water in the washtub, the cloth, and the washtub are pure, as well as the minute fibers that have fallen from the clothes, in the question, and overflow along with the water. Also dust and minute fibers that are separated from a najis cloth are considered pure unless you are sure that they have been separated from the najis parts of the cloth and it is not necessary to observe caution in case of doubt whether they originally had been separated from najis clothes or not and whether or not their place is najis.
Q 289: What is the degree of wetness that causes najāsah spread from one object to another?
A: The criterion for transmitting moisture is that the wetness should spread from a wet body to another body when they contact each other.
Q 290: What is the rule pertaining to clothes given to laundries and dry-cleaners as far as purity is concerned? It needs to be mentioned that religious minorities (Jews, Christians etc.) also have their clothes washed and dry-cleaned at these places, and it is also known that the owners of these shops use chemicals for washing clothes.
A: Clothes given to laundries and dry-cleaners, if they were not najis, are considered pure, and their coming into contact with the clothes of the minorities from the People of the Book does not make them najis.
Q 291: Do the clothes washed in a fully automatic domestic washing machine become pure or not? The mode of functioning of this machine is as follows: Initially when the clothes are washed in it with detergent, some water and foam of the detergent spreads on the glass door of the machine and the rubber surrounding it. After this, the used water is drawn while the foam of the detergent remains on the glass door and the rubber surrounding it. And, at later stages, the machine washes the clothes thrice with qalīl water and then the used water is driven out. Please explain whether the clothes washed in this manner are pure or not?
A: As far as purifying clothes in a washing machine is concerned, if, after removal of the inherently najis material, the clothes are washed once with water connected to kurr, they are purified. The same ruling applies if you use qalīl water provided that the inner part of machine is pure before putting clothes inside the machine, clothes are washed twice with qalīl water and the used water is drained to the normal extent after each washing.
Q 292: If water is poured on the ground or in a pool or a bath in which clothes are washed, and then drops of this water fall on one’s clothes, do they become najis or not?
A: If water is poured on a pure spot or ground, the drops that splash from it are also pure. If we doubt whether that place is pure or najis, the splashed drops are ruled to be pure, as well.
Q 293: Is the water which flows on the streets from municipal garbage vans and at times splashes on people’s clothes, due to strong wind, considered pure or najis?
A: It is considered pure unless one is sure of its being najis due to contact with something najis.
Q 294: Is the water that gathers in potholes in the streets pure or najis?
A: Such water is ruled to be pure.
Q 295: What is the rule concerning exchanging family visits with persons who do not pay attention to the rules of purity and najāsah in matters of food, drink, etc.?
A: In general, the ruling of religion of Islam is that everything, about whose najis state one is not certain, is considered pure from the shar‘ī viewpoint.
Q 296: Please elucidate the legal rule concerning the following from the point of view of purity and najāsah: The vomit (a) of a breast-fed child; (b) of a breast-fed child that is also given supplementary diet; (c) of an adult.
A: It is pure in all these instances.
Q 297: What is the rule applicable to something that comes into contact with some objects one of which is najis?
A: If it comes into contact with only some of them, it is not treated as najis.
Q 298: In an Islamic country a foreign person, whose religion is unknown, sells food items and touches it in the presence of transmitting moisture. Is it obligatory to ask him about his religion, or will the principle of presuming a state of purity apply?
A: It is not obligatory to ask about his religion and the principle of presuming state of purity will be applicable in respect to him as well as the food he touches in the presence of transmitting moisture.
Q 299: A member of a family or someone who regularly visits them does not care about purity rules and makes the house as well as its furniture najis to such an extent that it is not possible to wash and clean them. In such a case, what is the duty of the residents of the home? And how is it possible for a person to remain clean, especially for prayers in which a state of purity is a necessary condition for validity? What is the rule in this regard?
A: It is not necessary to purify the whole house. The purity of the clothes of the person praying and the place of resting the forehead during prayer is sufficient for the validity of prayer. The najāsah of the house and its furnishings does not give rise to any additional duty apart from observing a state of purity during prayers and in eating and drinking.
Ruling of Intoxicants
Q 300: Are alcoholic beverages najis?
A: By obligatory caution, intoxicating drinks are najis.
Q 301: What is the rule applicable to grape juice that boils over a fire and two-thirds of which has not yet evaporated, although it is not intoxicating?
A: Drinking it is ḥarām, but it is not najis.
Q 302: It is said that when a quantity of unripe grapes are boiled to extract their juice, the substance derived after boiling is ḥarām if they included a few or even a single ripe grape. Is this opinion correct?
A: If the quantity of the juice derived from a few ripe grapes is so insignificant that it disappears in the juice of the raw grapes so that it cannot be called the juice of ripe grapes, it is ḥalāl. But, if only the ripe grapes are boiled on the fire, then it is ḥarām to drink the juice.
Q 303: Nowadays alcohol (which is in fact intoxicating) is used in making a large number of medicines, especially syrups, and in perfumes and colognes that are generally imported. Do you consider it permissible for a person, whether he is aware of this or not, to buy, sell, prepare and use such products?
A: An alcohol which you do not know whether it originally belongs to the category of a liquid intoxicant is considered pure, and there is no problem in buying, selling and using liquids containing it.
Q 304: Is it permissible to use white alcohol for disinfecting the hands and medical equipment, like thermometers etc., or their use in medical work and treatment by doctors? White alcohol is an alcohol used for medical purposes and is also fit for consumption. Are prayers valid in clothes on which a drop or more of this alcohol has fallen?
A: An alcohol that is not originally liquid is considered pure even if it is intoxicant and prayer performed in clothes which come into contact with such an alcohol is valid and they do not require purification. But if it is originally liquid and, according to the experts, intoxicant as well, it is najis by obligatory caution and should be purified from the body or clothes on which it falls before praying. However, using it for sterilizing medical equipment and the like is no problem.
Q 305: There is a substance called ‘kafīr’ which is used in food and medical industries, and during fermentation 5% to 8% alcohol is found in the produced material, and this small quantity of alcohol does not cause any kind of intoxication. Is there any problem from the shar‘ī viewpoint in using this substance?
A: If the alcohol present in the product is intoxicating by itself, it is ḥarām to be consumed and, by obligatory caution, najis, even if it is not intoxicating for the consumer due to its small quantity and its being mixed with the produced item. But if there is a doubt as to its being intoxicant in itself or as to its being originally a liquid, the rule is different.
Q 306: i. Is ethyl alcohol najis or not? (Apparently it is this type of alcohol that is present in all intoxicants and the cause of intoxication.)
ii. What is the criterion for the najāsah of alcohol?
iii. What is the method of ascertaining whether a drink is an intoxicant?
A: i. All the various kinds of alcohol that are intoxicating and originally in liquid form are najis by obligatory caution.
ii. The criterion is its being intoxicating and originally a liquid.
iii. If the mukallaf is not sure, then the information provided by reliable specialists will be sufficient.
Q 307: What is the rule concerning the soft drinks available in the market, including soft drinks produced within the country, e.g. Coca Cola, Pepsi, with the knowledge that some of the ingredients are imported and it is probable that they may contain alcohol?
A: They are considered pure and ḥalāl except where the mukallaf is sure that they contain an alcohol that is intoxicating and originally liquid.
Q 308: Basically, is it necessary, while purchasing food items from a non-Muslim, to investigate whether the hand of its seller or the person preparing it has touched it, or whether he uses alcohol in preparing it?
A: It is not necessary to ask and investigate.
Q 309: I make atropine sulfate spray and alcohol is an essential ingredient in its formulation, that is, if we do not add alcohol to the compound, it is not possible to prepare the spray. This spray is considered a counter weapon that can protect the Islamic forces from chemical weapons. Is it permissible in your opinion to use alcohol in preparing medicines in the above-mentioned manner?
A: If the alcohol is intoxicating and originally liquid, it is ḥarām and by obligatory caution najis, but to use it for making the medicine does not involve any problem.
Obsession and Its Treatment
Q 310: It is several years that I am suffering from the problem of obsessive doubting, and it has really been tormenting me. Day by day this state is becoming more severe and has reached such a point that my whole life is affected with doubt, mostly in relation to food and wet things. As a result, I am unable to behave like ordinary people. When I enter a place I remove my socks immediately because I think that they have become wet by sweat and will become najis on coming into contact with a najāsah. I am even unable to sit on the prayer mat, and when I do sit, I stand up immediately lest the minute fibers of the prayers mat should stick to my clothes compelling me to clean them with water. Earlier I was not like this, and now I feel embarrassed by my conduct and always long to see someone in my dream to put my questions to him or hope for a miracle to change my life and take me back to my previous state. Please enlighten me.
A: The rules of purity and najāsah are the same as those which have been explained in detail in the books on the practical laws of Islam. In shar‘, all things are considered pure unless it has been pronounced as najis by the Legislator, and one is certain of it being najis. Thus, getting rid of obsession in this situation does not require dreams or miracles; rather it is the duty of the mukallaf to set aside his personal inclination and observe, and bind himself to, the teachings of the sacred laws of Islam and have faith in it and he should not consider the thing whose state of najāsah is not confirmed najis. Therefore, how do you know that the door, wall, prayer mat and other things that you use are najis? And what makes you sure that the minute fibers of the prayer mat that you walk or sit on are najis and that their impurities will transfer to your socks, clothes and body? So in this case, it is not permissible for you to pay attention to this obsession. Disregarding obsession with regard to najāsah and practicing indifference and carelessness will, God willing and by Allah’s aid, help you to free yourself from the grip of obsessive doubting.
Q 311: I am a postgraduate woman with several children. I am suffering from a problem concerning purity. In view of the fact that I have been raised within a religious family and want to observe all Islamic regulations and since I have young children, I am always busy with the affairs of urine and excrement. Especially in the toilet, the water drops of the flash-tanks, etc. sprinkles on my leg, face, and even head and every time I face a problem of purifying these body parts a matter that created many difficulties in my life and I cannot stop observing such matters since it is something related to my faith and religion. I consulted a psychologist in the matter, but in vain. In addition, there are some other problems that I suffer from, like the dust of the najis things and being too concerned about purifying the najis hands of the children or to prevent them from touching other things. To purify something najis is a very difficult job for me, while it is easy for me to wash the same vessels and clothes when they are just dirty. Thus, I request your valuable advice to make my life easier.
i. As to the subject of purity and najāsah, basically every thing is considered pure in the sacred laws of Islam. Whenever we are not certain that something is najis, it is pure, even if there is a high probability that it is najis.
ii. Those, who suffer from a severe psychological sensitivity in respect to purity and najāsah matters and, for example, get certain earlier than others that something is najis or later than others that something is pure, are called by fiqhī terminology waswāsī (obsessive). If a waswāsī individual gets certain that something is najis, they are not required to act according to their certainty except when this certainty comes through conventional ways. As for washing a najis object by a waswāsī person, the criterion is the usual people's status and it is not necessary that the waswāsī gets certain that this thing gets pure and the najāsah is removed.
Those individuals should keep on acting upon this ruling until this psychological problem is completely cured.
iii. For any object or body part that becomes najis, it is enough to wash it once with tap water after the najāsah has disappeared. It is not necessary to repeat washing or immersing it in water, and if najis object is a piece of cloth or the like, it should be, by caution, pressed or shaken to the usual extent so that the water comes out.
iv. Since you are very sensitive to najāsah, you should know that najis dust is not najis for you in any way, and it is not necessary to take care of the child's hands, whether they are pure or najis. Likewise, it is not necessary to be careful whether blood has been removed from body. This rule remains applicable to you until this sensitivity is gone.
V. The religion of Islam has simple and easy rules that are in accordance with human nature, so do not make it a problem for yourself and do not cause harm and suffering to your body and soul. The state of apprehension and anxiety in these cases makes life bitter for you, and God is not pleased with your suffering and those who are related to you. Be grateful for the blessing of easy religion, and gratitude for this blessing is to act according to the teachings of God, the Sublime and Exalted.
vi. This condition is transient and treatable. After contracting it, many people have been saved by the mentioned method. Trust in God and calm your soul with effort and will. God willing, you will be successful.
Rules of Non-Muslims
Q 312: Some mujtahids are of the opinion that the People of the Book are najis, while some others consider them pure. What is your opinion?
A: It is not established that the People of the Book are najis themselves; rather, we consider them as pure by themselves.
Q 313: Are the People of the Book, who accept the Prophethood of the Seal of the Prophets (s.) but follow the practice of their ancestors in matters of worship, considered non-Muslims as far as of the rules of purity are concerned?
A: Solely having faith in the Prophethood of the Seal of the prophets (s.) is not sufficient for considering someone Muslim. However, such persons are considered pure if they belong to The People of the Book.
Q 314: A number of friends and I rented a house together and then came to know that one of them does not perform prayers. After inquiring him about the reason, he replied that he has faith in Allah, the Glorious, and the Exalted; but does not perform prayers. Considering that we eat food together and there is lot of contact among us; do we consider him najis or pure?
A: Merely forsaking the performance of prayers and not observing the fast or other shar‘ī obligations, do not make a Muslim an apostate or najis. Rather, as long as his apostasy is not confirmed, his ruling is the same as that of other Muslims.
Q 315: What are the religions whose followers are considered the People of the Book? What is the criterion for defining the limits of social relations with them?
A: By the People of the Book is meant all those who profess a divine religion and consider themselves the followers of one of the prophets of Allah, the Glorious and the Exalted (may peace be upon our Prophet and his progeny and upon them) and who possess a heavenly scripture from those revealed to the Prophets (a.), such as the Jews, the Christians, the Zoroastrians and similarly the Sabeans who, on the basis of our research, are among the People of the Book. Therefore, the rule of the People of the Book applies to the followers of these religions, and there is no objection to associating with them socially, while observing Islamic laws and morals.
Q 316: There is a sect that calls itself ‘Aliyyullāhī, and it considers the Commander of the Faithful, Ali ibn Abītālib (a.), as a god and believes in supplicating and seeking fulfillment of requests as an alternative to prayers and fasting. Are they najis?
A: If they believe that Amīr al-Mu’minīn, Ali ibn Abītālib (a.), is a god (Allah, the exalted, is above what they say), then the rule applicable to them is that of non-Muslims who have not a Book, i.e., they are kāfirs and najis.
Q 317: There is a sect called ‘Aliyyullāhī which says that Ali (a.) is not a god, although he is not less than a god either. What is the rule applicable to them?
A: If they do not ascribe a partner to Allah, the One, the Munificent and the Exalted, the rule applicable to them is not that of polytheists.
Q 318: Is it permissible to donate the votive offerings of a nadhr made by a Twelver Shī‘ah and dedicated to Imam Ḥusayn (a.s.) or to Aṣḥāb al-Kisā’, to such centers where followers of the ‘Aliyyullāhī sect gather, knowing that this act amounts, one way or another, to strengthening these centers?
A: The belief that the Leader of the Monotheists Ali (a.) is a god is a false belief and takes its adherent out of the pale of Islam. Aiding the propagation of this perverse belief is ḥarām. Further, it is not permissible to spend a nadhr offering for any thing other than its vowed purpose.
Q 319: There exists a sect in our region, and in some other places, that calls itself Ismā‘īlī. Though they profess faith in the first six Imams (a.) they do not believe in any of the religious obligations or in the authority of the jurist leader. Please explain whether the followers of this sect are najis or pure?
A: The sole rejection of the Imamate of the last six Imams (a.s.) or any rule from among the rules of Islamic law, so long as that does not amount to rejecting Islamic religion or the Prophethood of the Prophet (SW), does not entail them being non-Muslim and najis unless they abuse or insult any of the infallible Imams (a.s.).
Q 320: The vast majority of people here are Buddhist non-Muslims. Therefore if a university student rents a house, what is the rule concerning its state of purity and najāsah? Is it necessary to wash and clean the house? It is noteworthy that most of the houses are made of wood and to wash them is not possible. Further, what is the rule concerning hotels and their furniture and articles?
A: Unless it is confirmed that the hand or body of a non-Muslim that is not among The People of the Book has touched something in the presence of transferable wetness, that thing will not be considered najis. Presuming that its najāsah has been ascertained, it is not obligatory to purify the doors and walls of homes and hotels, nor their furniture and articles. All that is obligatory is to purify those things which are used for eating, drinking, and praying.
Q 321: There live a large number of people in Khuzestan who call themselves Sabeans and claim that they are the followers of Prophet John [Yaḥyā] (a.s.) and that they possess his scripture. It has also been established for the religious scholars that they are the Sabeans mentioned in the Qur’an. Please explain whether they are among the People of the Book.
A: The rule of the People of the Book is applicable to this group.
Q 322: It is generally said that a house built by the hands of non-Muslims becomes najis and performing prayer in it is makrūh. Is this correct?
A: Performing prayer in such a house is not makrūh.
Q 323: What is the rule pertaining to working for Jews, Christians, and other non-Muslims, and taking wages from them?
A: There is no objection to doing so by itself, provided the work is not among the ḥarām works or detrimental to the general interests of Islam and Muslims.
Q 324: In the region in which we are doing our military service, there exist some tribes belonging to a sect called ‘Ahl-e-Ḥaqq’. Is it valid to use the milk, yogurt and butter they produce?
A: If they profess faith in the principles of Islam, they are like all other Muslims in matters of purity and najāsah.
Q 325: The residents of the village where I give lessons do not perform prayers because they belong to the Ahl-e-Ḥaqq sect, and I am forced to eat the food and bread prepared by them, since we live day and night in that village. Is there any problem in my prayers?
A: if they do not reject the oneness of Allah and the Prophethood of Muhammad (SW) or any of the indispensable elements of the religion and do not believe in any defect in the mission of the Messenger of Islam (SW), being non-Muslim or najis is not attributed to them. Otherwise, it is obligatory to observe the matter of purity and najāsah while coming into contact with them and eating their food.
Q 326: One of our relatives is a communist, and when we were children he gave us a lot of money and gifts. What is the rule concerning the money and gifts if they are still with us?
A: If he is proved to be a non-Muslim, his apostasy has been confirmed and he had chosen the path of infidelity after attaining shar‘ī puberty but before confessing faith in Islam, the rule that applies to the wealth of the non-Muslims will apply to his wealth.
Q 327: Please answer the following questions:
i. What is the rule for Muslim students intermingling and shaking hands with students belonging to the deviant Bahā’ī sect at the primary, secondary, and high school levels, irrespective of whether they are boys or girls, mukallafs or not, within or outside the school?
ii. What should be the behavior of the teachers vis-à-vis students who either declare that they are Bahā’īs or are known to be such?
iii. What is the rule pertaining to using things used by all the students, such as drinking-water taps, latrine taps, pitchers, soap, etc., knowing that the body and hands are wet?
A: All followers of the deviant Bahā’ī sect are considered najis and their coming into contact with something requires observing the rules of purity for matters in which the state of purity is required. But the behavior of the headmasters and teachers with Bahā’ī students should be in accordance with the regulations and Islamic ethics
Q 328: Please elucidate the duty of the believing men and women vis-à-vis the deviant Bahā’ī sect and the impacts that arise due to the presence of its followers within the Islamic society?
A: It is obligatory for all believers to counter the plots and corruption of the deviant Bahā’ī sect and to stop others from being misled by this deviant sect or following it.
Q 329: At times the followers of the deviant Bahā’ī sect bring us food or something else. Is it permissible for us to use them?
A: Any sort of social association with the deviant and misleading Bahā’ī sect should be avoided.
Q 330: A large number of Bahā’īs live in our neighborhood and often visit our home. Some say that the Bahā’īs are najis while others consider them as pure. These Bahā’īs also exhibit good morals. Are they najis or pure?
A: they are najis and enemies of your religion and faith. So you should beware of them, my dear friends.
Q 331: What is the rule pertaining to the bus and train seats which are used by Muslims as well as non-Muslims, and in some areas the number of non-Muslims is greater than that of Muslims. Should they be considered pure despite the knowledge that perspiration in hot weather leads to transferable wetness?
A: Among non-Muslims, the People of the Book are ruled to be pure. In general, in respect with the things used by both non-Muslims and Muslims, they are considered pure unless their najāsah is known.
Q 332: Studying abroad necessitates contact and association with non-Muslims. In this case, what is the rule concerning taking food prepared by them (after ascertaining that it does not contain prohibited items such as the meat of an animal which is not slaughtered ritually) if there is a possibility that the non-Muslim’s hand have touched the food in the presence of wetness?
A: The mere possibility that the non-Muslim’s wet hand have touched it is not sufficient for creating an obligation for refraining from it. Rather, unless one is sure that such contact has occurred, it is considered pure. Further, if the non-Muslim is among The People of the Book, he is not intrinsically najis, and if his wet hand touches something, it does not render it najis.
Q 333: If all the expenses and cost of living of a Muslim living under the shelter of an Islamic government are met as a result of his working for a non-Muslim and he has close relations with him, is it permissible to establish strong family ties with such a Muslim and eat his food on occasions?
A: There is no objection that other Muslims establish relations with such a Muslim. But, if the latter fears that he might be led astray from the doctrines of his faith by the non-Muslim he is serving, it is obligatory for him to leave this job; and it is obligatory for others, in such circumstances, to forbid him from evil.
Q 334: My brother-in-law had, regrettably, turned a total apostate due to various reasons, so much so that it led him to commit sacrilege against certain religious sanctities. Now, years after leaving Islam, he has sent a letter informing that he has come to believe in Islam, though he never prays or fasts. What kind of contact can his parents and other members of family have with him? Is he categorized as a non-Muslim? Is it obligatory to consider him najis?
A: Presuming that his earlier apostasy is established, if he has repented later, he is considered pure, and there is no problem in his parents and other relatives having contact with him.
Q 335: Does the rule applicable to a non-Muslim apply to a person who rejects some indispensable elements of the religion, such as fasting, etc.?
A: If rejection of some indispensable elements of religion amounts to rejection of the Prophet’s (s.) prophethood, denial of the Prophet’s mission, or belief that the sharī‘ah is defective, then it leads to apostasy and being a non-Muslim.
Q 336: Do the punishments prescribed for an apostate and the warring non-Muslim [at war with Muslims] fall into the category of political issues and are, thus, among the duties of the leader or are they established laws which will remain unchanged till the Day of Judgment?
A: They are divine shar‘ī laws.
Q 1041: What is the rule concerning initiation of jihad against infidels during the occultation of the Infallible Imam (a.)? Is it permissible for the qualified mujtahid who possesses state power [the Leader of Muslims] to declare it?
A: The opinion that affirms the permissibility of such a declaration for the qualified mujtahid who has the position of administering the affairs of Muslims, when he sees that expediency requires it; is not improbable. Rather, it is the strongest opinion.
Q 1042: What is the rule concerning defending Islam when it is felt to be in danger, but without the parents’ consent?
A: To defend Islam and Muslims is obligatory and does not depend upon the parent’s permission. Nevertheless, it is advisable to try to obtain their consent as far as possible.
Q 1043: Does the rule of dhimmī apply to the People of the Book who live in Islamic countries?
A: As long as they obey the rules and regulations of the Islamic government under which they live and do not do anything contrary to the treaty, their rule will be the same as that of mu‘āhids, [those who have a peace treaty with the Islamic state].
Q 1044: Is it permissible for a Muslim to take possession of any non-Muslim person whether kitābī or non-kitābī, man or woman, in a non-Muslim country or in an Islamic one?
A: It is not permissible. In case the infidels attack Islamic lands and a group of them are captured by Muslims, deciding the fate of the prisoners of war rests with the Islamic ruler and Muslims as individuals do not have such powers.
Q 1045: If, supposedly, the preservation of the genuine Islam of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.) depends on shedding the blood of a respected soul, is it permissible to do so?
A: According to Islamic law, shedding the blood of a respected soul without any right is forbidden and contradicts the rules of genuine Islam of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s). Therefore, it does not make sense to say that the preservation of the genuine Islam depends on killing an innocent person. But if what is meant is the mukallaf’s commitment to jihad in the way of Allah, the Almighty, and defense of the genuine Islam of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s) in cases in which he may be killed, the cases differ. If the mukallaf feels, on the basis of his judgment, that the very existence of Islam is in danger, it will be obligatory for him to rise for its defense, even if there is fear of being killed.
Music and Ghinā’
Q1121. What are the criteria by which one can distinguish ḥalāl from ḥarām music? Is classical music ḥalāl?
A: Any music which is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah is ḥarām whether it is classic or not. To distinguish the subject of a ruling depends on the view of the mukallaf as a part of common people. There is no objection to other kinds of music in itself.
Q1122. What is the ruling on the issue of listening to cassettes sanctioned by the organization of Islamic propagation or other Islamic institutions? What is the ruling on the matter of using musical instruments, such as a violin, or flute?
A: The permissibility of listening to a cassette depends on mukallaf’s view. If he maintains that it does not contain ghinā’and lahwī music — which deviate people from the way of Allah — or untrue speech, then there is no objection to listening to it. Therefore, its sanction by the Islamic Propagation Organization or any other Islamic institute does not serve by itself as a shar‘ī proof of being permissible. It is not allowed to use musical instruments to produce ḥarām lahwī music which deviates people from the way of Allah. However, it is ḥalāl to use them for rational purposes. To distinguish the instances rests with the mukallaf.
Q1123. What is meant by lahwī music which deviates people from the way of Allah? And how best can one recognize it?
A: Lahwī and deviating music is that which due to its characteristics keeps human beings away from Allah, the sublime, and away from moral merits and drives them towards sinful acts and carelessness. Its recognition rests with the common people.
Q1124. Do such things as the personality of the musician, the place where music is conducted, and the aims of the music have any say in the ruling in the matter of music?
A: The ḥarām type of music is lahwī music which deviates people from the way of Allah. However, the personality of the musician, the vocalized words accompanying the music, the venue, and all other circumstances may contribute to place it in the category of ḥarām, lahwī, and deviating music, or another ḥarām category, e.g., if the music, due to the mentioned things, leads to certain corruption.
Q1125. Is lahwī nature of a particular type of music the only criterion for judging that it is ḥarām or should one considers the element of excitement also? If it causes the listener to feel sadness and eventually make him cry, what is the ruling then? And what about listening to love poems that are vocalized to the accompaniment of music?
A: The criterion is to observe how the music is being played in all its characteristics and whether or not it is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah. Any music categorized due to its nature as lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah is ḥarām, irrespective of whether it contains the element of excitement or not. Whether it engenders in the listener a state of melancholy and crying is also immaterial. Should reciting love poems to the accompaniment of music take the form of ghinā’ and lahwī songs which deviates people from the way of Allah, it is ḥarām to sing, or to listen to, them.
Q1126. How do you define ghinā’? Is it just the human voice or does it cover the sound of musical instruments?
A: Ghinā’ is the voice of the human being, which is produced in a rise and fall pattern and deviates people from the way of Allah. It is ḥarām to engage in this type of singing; as well as to listen to it.
Q1127. Is it permissible for women to rap on things, other than musical instruments, such as kitchen utensils, in wedding parties? And what is the ruling if the sound is heard outside by men?
A: Such [rapping] should be judged by the way it is conducted, i.e., if it is of what people used to do in traditional wedding parties, is not considered lahw and deviating from the way of Allah, and no bad effect follows it as a consequence, there is no problem in doing so.
Q1128. What is the ruling in the matter of women using the tambourine in wedding parties?
A: To use musical instruments to play lahwī and deviating music is not permissible.
Q1129. Is it permissible to listen to ghinā’ at home? And what is the ruling if one does not get affected by such songs?
A: Listening to ghinā’ which is lahwī and devites people from the way of Allah is absolutely ḥarām, be it at one’s home alone or in the presence of others, even if one does not get aroused.
Q1130. Some youth, who recently became mature, follow in taqlīd some mujtahids who are of the opinion that music is absolutely ḥarām, even if it is broadcast from the official radio and television of the Islamic state.
What is the ruling in this matter? Is sanctioning, by the Jurist Leader, of certain ḥalāl types of music enough by itself, as a government ruling, to override the fatwā of the other mujtahids who espouse a different view? Or should those youth follow the fatwā of their respective marji‘s?
A: Passing a fatwā in favor of, or against, listening to music is not a hukm — governmental ruling — rather a shar‘ī jurisprudential one. It is the duty, therefore, of every mukallaf to adhere to the fatwā of his/her marji`. However, should the music not be of the type which is lahwī, deviates people from the way of Allah, and leads to bad consequences, there is no evidence for making it ḥarām.
Q1131. What is the definition of music and ghinā’?
A: Ghinā’ involves the rise and fall of the voice in a way that is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah. It is a sinful act, which is ḥarām for both the singer and the listener.
As for music, it is to play musical instruments. If it is done in a way that is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah, it is ḥarām for both the musician and the listener. Otherwise, it is permissible in itself and there is no objection to it.
Q1132. I work for an employer who made a habit of listening to ghinā’ played from a cassette recorder. I find myself listening to what is being played, although unwillingly. Is it permissible for me to do so?
A: Should the cassettes contain lahwī ghinā’ or music which deviate people from the way of Allah, it is not permissible to listen to them. However, if you are forced to attend such a place, there is no harm in your going and working there provided that you do not listen to the ghinā’, albeit the sound reaches you and you hear it.
Q1133. What is the ruling in the matter of music that is broadcast from the radio and television of the Islamic Republic? And is there any truth in what has been circulated that the late Imam Khomeini (may his soul rest in peace) ruled that music in general is ḥalāl?
A: Attributing the ruling of absolute permissibility of music to the late great leader Imam Khomeini (q.) is baseless and a fabricated lie. He was of the opinion that a piece of music, which is suitable for the gatherings of sin, is ḥarām. However, the difference of opinion stems from varying identification of rulings’ subject matter which rests with mukallafs.
For example, the musician may disagree with the listener’s point of view. In this case, what the mukallaf regards as lahwī which deviates people from the way of Allah is ḥarām for him to listen to. As for the sounds which fall in a grey area, the ruling in their regard is that it is permissible to listen to them. The mere broad-casting [songs and music] by the radio and television is not legitimate evidence that it is ḥalāl and permissible.
Q1134. From time to time radio and television broadcast music that, I think, is suitable for gatherings of lahw and sin. Is it incumbent on me not to listen to such music and should I prevent other people from listening to it?
A: If you are convinced that it is a lahwī type of music which deviates people from the way of Allah, you are not allowed to listen to it. As for preventing other people from listening to it, by way of forbidding that which is the evil, this depends on their view, i.e., if they consider it a ḥarām type of music as well.
Q1135. What is the ruling in the matter of listening to Western lahwī songs and music and working as a distributing agent for such products?
A: It is ḥarām to listen to ghinā’ or music that is lahwī and deviate people from the way of Allah, regardless of the language it is composed in or the country of origin. Accordingly, it is not permissible to buy, sell, or distribute such cassettes, should they contain the lahwī ḥarām type of music and singing. By the same token, it is not permissible to listen to them.
Q1136. What is the ruling in the matter of men or women singing in the way of ghinā’ on radio or cassettes, and irrespective of whether or not such singing was done to the accompaniment of music?
A: Ghinā’ is ḥarām if it is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah. Thus, it is neither permissible to sing ghinā’ nor to listen to it, regardless of whether the singer is a man or a woman. Whether singing is broadcast live, or to listen to its cassettes, and whether it is accompanied by tunes from musical instruments or not, does not change the ruling in any way.
Q1137. What is the ruling in the matter of playing music to serve sensible lawful aims in a holy place like a masjid?
A: It is not at all permissible to play lahwī and deviating music, even in venues outside the masjid and for a sensible lawful reason. However, there is no objection to revolutionary martial chanting to the accompaniment of musical tunes in holy places on the occasions which warrant that provided that it does not go against the sanctity of the place or pose any nuisance to the worshippers and praying persons in such places as masjids.
Q1138. Is it permissible to learn to play music, especially a dulcimer? What is the ruling on encouraging other people to do so?
A: There is no objection to using musical instruments to play non-lahwī tunes if it is for revolutionary or religious chanting or carrying out useful cultural and other programs aiming at rational and ḥalāl purposes provided that no bad consequence may result. Also, learning and teaching playing music for the above mentioned causes are no problem.
Q1139. What is the ruling in the matter of listening to a woman's declamation, regardless of whom the audiences are, i.e., men or women, old or young? And what is the view if the woman is one’s maḥram?
A: If her voice is considered as ghinā’ which is lahwī and deviate people from the way of Allah, listening to it is not driven by lust, or it leads to a bad consequence, it is not allowed. What is mentioned in the question makes no difference.
Q1140. Is traditional national Iranian music ḥarām?
A: Should it, according to the common view, be judged as a lahwī form of music that deviates people from the way of Allah, it is absolutely ḥarām, regardless of the nationality of music, i.e., whether Iranian or otherwise, traditional or otherwise.
Q1141. Some Arabic broadcasting stations air musical tunes. Is it permissible to listen to such tunes for the love of the Arabic language?
A: Listening to lahwī deviating music is absolutely ḥarām. Yearning to listening to the Arabic language per se is not a shar‘ī justification for such an act.
Q1142. Is it permissible to recite poems which are being sung but without the music?
A: Ghinā’ is ḥarām, even if it is not carried out to the accompaniment of music. What is meant by ghinā’ is that type of vocalizing with rise and fall which deviates one from the way of Allah and is suitable for dissolute gatherings of sin. As for reciting poetry in itself, there is no problem in it.
Q1143. What is the ruling in the matter of buying and selling musical instruments? And what are the limits of their use?
A: There is no problem in buying and selling musical instruments that serve dual purposes, intending to use them in playing non-lahwī tunes.
Q1144. Is it permissible to recite the Holy Qur’an, supplication, and adhān, in a ghinā’-like manner?
A: Ghinā’ — i.e., a voice accompanied by a rise and fall, which is suitable for gatherings of lahw and sin — is absolutely ḥarām, even if it is used in reciting supplications, the Holy Qur′an, adhān, elegies, etc.
Q1145. Nowadays, music is used to treat a host of psychological diseases, such as depression, anxiety and sexual problems of females. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: Should sincere medical opinion be supportive of this, in that treating an illness depends solely on it, there is no problem in that provided it is in keeping with the requirements of the treatment.
Q1146. If listening to ghinā’ stimulates man’s sexual desire for his wife, what is the view on that?
A: Increasing husband’s libido per se is not a lawful excuse for listening to ḥarām ghinā’.
Q1147. What is the ruling in the matter of a woman singing in a concert with a women orchestra in the presence of an all-women audience?
A: If singing is accompanied by deviating lahwī rise and fall of voice or the music accompanying it is lahwī and deviates people from the way of Allah, it is ḥarām.
Q1148. If the criterion for ruling that a music is ḥarām is its being lahwī and suitable for gatherings of lahw and sin, what is the ruling in the matter of tunes and chanting which may cause some people to move their body with joy, even the non-discriminating child? Is it permissible to listen to vulgar cassettes in which women sing in the form of ghinā’ if it is not enrapturing? And what should passengers, who use public buses whose drivers play such cassettes, do?
A: With due consideration to the status of the musician or the singer during playing music or singing, the content, and the nature of music or song, any lahwī type of music or vocalization with a rise and fall in voice that is suitable for the gatherings of lahw and sin is ḥarām, even if it does not lead to stimulation in the listener. The users of vehicles and buses must not listen attentively to what is being played of ḥarām lahwī music and ghinā’ songs; they should also practice forbidding the evil.
Q1149. Is it permissible for a man to listen to a non-maḥram woman’s ghinā’ in order to enjoy being with his wife? Also, is it permissible for the wife to sing ghinā’ for her husband and vice versa? Is there any truth in what is said that the Divine Legislator made ghinā’ ḥarām because it is intrinsically tied in with the gatherings of lahw and la‘ib and that such a prohibition made because such gatherings are themselves ḥarām?
A: It is absolutely ḥarām to listen to ḥarām ghinā’ which is characterized by rising and falling voice which deviates one from the way of Allah, even if it is done by wife or husband for the other. The purpose of enjoying being with one’s wife per se is not a justifiable reason to make listening to ghinā’ permissible.
However, prohibition of ghinā’, and the like has been proven by way of being bound to Sharī′ah law and it stands on firm ground in Shi′ah jurisprudence. Thus, it is not contingent on imaginative reasons and psychological and social factors. Rather, as long as the word “ghinā’” or the like is applied to a case, it is ruled to be absolutely ḥarām and should be avoided.
Q1150. As a requirement of the curriculum of a major subject, students of the college of education have to take music classes whereby they are introduced to an outline of the subject of revolutionary music and chants. This includes classes in musical notations and playing the organ. What is our duty in respect with buying and using such a musical instrument? And what is the view on learning this subject as part of the compulsory program? What is the obligation of female students who are required to practice before the opposite sex?
A: In itself, there is no problem in using the musical instruments for composing revolutionary recitals, making religious programs, and holding useful cultural and educational activities, nor is there any harm in buying and selling these instruments for these stated purposes. Also, there is no objection to teaching and learning it for such aims, nor is there any objection to female students attending such classes provided that they uphold the obligatory ḥijāb and other Islamic regulations.
Q1151. On the face of it, some songs give the impression that they are revolutionary, and the common view suggests that as well. However, one cannot tell whether the singer is really aiming at instilling revolutionary values or entertaining the audience. What is the view on listening to this type of songs, especially if the singer is not a Muslim, yet his songs are national and contain words which denounce occupation and encourage resistance?
A: If the listener maintains that as per common view they are not lahwī and deviating from the way of Allah, there is no problem in listening to the songs. Thus, neither the intention of the singer nor the content has anything to do with this ruling.
Q1152. A person works as a trainer and an international referee in some kind of sport. His work could require his presence in clubs where ḥarām kind of music and singing are played. Is it permissible for him to carry on with this work, especially, if it provides him with some income where jobs are hard to come by?
A: There is no harm in this person’s work, albeit it is ḥarām for him to listen to ghinā’ and lahwī music. In circumstances where he is compelled to enter places where the ḥarām type of singing and music are taking place, he is allowed to do so provided he avoids listening to them. There is, though, no problem in hearing such singing and music involuntarily.
Q1153. Is listening to music alone ḥarām, or is hearing also ḥarām?
A: The ruling on hearing ḥarām lahwī singing and music is not the same as that of listening to them except in certain situations when, according to the common view, hearing amounts to listening.
Q1154. Is it permissible to recite Qur’anic verses while playing music using instruments other than those usually suitable for gatherings of lahw and la‘ib?
A: There is no objection to reciting Qur’an in a beautiful and melodious voice commensurate to the greatness of the Holy Qur′an; it is, indeed, preferable so long as it does not amount to unlawful singing. However, playing music, while the recitation is in progress, has no shar‘ī justification.
Q1155. What is the view on beating on drum in birthday parties and similar occasions?
A: The use of musical instruments in a lahwī manner that deviates one from the way of Allah is absolutely ḥarām.
Q1156. What is the ruling in the matter of musical instruments used by groups of chanting composed of school students overseen by the department of education and culture?
A: Musical instruments which, according to the common view, are of dual — ḥalāl and ḥarām — purpose, can be used in a non-lahwī manner for lawful purposes so that it does not deviate one from the way of Allah. Instruments, which the common view regards as special to the production of lahwī deviating music, are not permissible to use.
Q1157. Is it permissible to: (a) work in manufacturing the dulcimer, a musical instrument, in order to make a living; (b) to teach Iranian classic music in order to revive and promote it?
A: There is no harm in the use of musical instruments to play tunes for revolutionary chanting, national anthems, or any other ḥalāl and useful pursuit provided it is not lahwī nor deviates people from the way of Allah. Also, in itself, there is no problem in manufacturing musical instruments or teaching and learning music for the aforementioned purposes.
Q1158. Which instruments are considered as lahw and therefore not permissible to use at all?
A: Instruments used mainly for lahw and producing what deviates people from the way of Allah, which causes deviations in thoughts and beliefs and have no ḥalāl benefit, are regarded as lahw instruments.
Q1159. Is it permissible to charge money for making copies of cassettes that contain ḥarām material?
A: It is ḥarām to copy any audiocassette listening to which is considered ḥarām, or to charge for that service.
Q1160. Is it permissible to dance the traditional dancing in wedding parties and what is the view on taking part in such parties?
A: Men's dancing is – by obligatory caution - ḥarām. If a woman's dancing among women is categorized as lahw - e.g. the woman's gathering becomes a dancing gathering, it is problematic and should be – by obligatory caution – avoided. If dancing entails sexual excitation or committing a ḥarām act (like ḥarām music/singing), a non-mḥram man is there, or leads to bad consequences, it is not permissible. As far as this rule is concerned, there is no difference between wedding parties and other gatherings. If participating in dancing parties is done by way of supporting the commission of ḥarām by others or leading to committing a ḥarām act, it is not permissible either. Otherwise, there is no harm in it.
Q1161. Is dancing without music in women’s gatherings ḥarām or ḥalāl? If it is ḥarām, should those present leave?
A: If a woman's dancing among women is categorized as as lahw - e.g. the woman's gathering becomes a dancing gathering, it is problematic and should be – by obligatory caution – avoided. It is also ḥarām if dancing entails sexual excitation, the commission of a ḥarām act, or leads to bad effects. Accordingly, leaving the party as a kind of protest against the ḥarām act is obligatory if it is a case of forbidding evil.
Q1162. What is the ruling in the matter of traditional dancing in either mixed groups of men and women, men only, or women only?
A: Men's dancing is – by obligatory caution - ḥarām. If a woman's dancing among women is categorized as lahw - e.g. the woman's gathering becomes a dancing gathering, it is problematic and should be – by obligatory caution – avoided. It is also ḥarām if dancing entails sexual excitation or committing a ḥarām act (like ḥarām music/singing), a non-mḥram man is there, or leads to bad consequences.
Q1163. What is the view on watching men or little girls dancing on television and so on?
A: It is not permissible if watching it leads to exciting sexual passion, supporting the action of the wrongdoer, daring them to do so, or entails bad effects.
Q1164. Attending wedding parties is carried out as a courtesy of the social norms. Is there any objection to doing that if there is a possibility of dancing taking place?
A: There is no objection to attending wedding parties where dancing may take place provided that it is not regarded as a manifestation of approval, on the part of the partaker, of the misdeeds of the wrongdoer and does not entail the commission of any ḥarām act.
Q1165. Is the dancing of a wife for her husband and vice versa ḥarām?
A: Should it be done without the commission of any ḥarām act, there is no harm in it.
Q1166. Is it permissible to dance in one’s offspring’s wedding party?
A: If it is of the ḥarām type of dance, it is ḥarām, even though the parents do it in their offspring’s wedding party.
Q1167. A married woman dances in wedding parties before non-maḥram people, without the consent of her husband. She is adamant not to give up the habit, despite repeated advice, enjoining the good and forbidding the evil, by her husband. What could one do in this regard?
A: Dancing of a woman in the presence of non-maḥrams is absolutely ḥarām. Going out of her home without her husband’s permission is also ḥarām in itself; she is regarded as rebellious. Accordingly, she does not enjoy the right of maintenance.
Q1168. What is the ruling in the matter of women dancing in the presence of men in rural wedding parties where musical instruments are played? And what should one do in this regard?
A: Dancing of women before non-maḥram men and every dancing which may entail a bad effect and arousal of sexual desires are ḥarām. Playing music and listening to it is also ḥarām if it is done in a lahwī manner and deviates one from the way of Allah. In this case, the onus is on the mukallaf to forbid the evil.
Q1169. What is the ruling in the matter of dancing of a discerning child, male or female, in the gatherings of men or women?
A: There is no obligation on the child, male or female, which has not attained age of ritual maturity yet. However, it is not good for adults to encourage the child to dance.
Q1170. What is the view on establishing dance-teaching centers?
A: Establishing centers for teaching and promoting dancing goes against the objects of the Islamic system.
Q1171. What is the view on men or women dancing in the company of their mḥrams of opposite sex whether in-laws or blood relatives?
A: What is forbidden of dance is universal, i.e., irrespective of whether it is done by a man, a woman, or in the presence of one’s mḥram or non-mḥram.
Q1172. Is fencing with sticks in wedding parties permissible? And what is the view if it is carried out to the accompaniment of music?
A: There is no problem in it in itself, should it be a kind of recreational sporting game, and provided no harm would befall the participants. As for the use of musical instruments in a lahwī deviating (from the way of Allah) manner, it is not permissible.
Q1173. What is the rule on dabke?
A: If it is considered as a kind of dancing as per common view, the rules of dancing are applied to it.
Q1174. Is it permissible for women to clap in happy occasions like wedding and birthday parties? Assuming that it is permissible, what if the sound of their clapping reaches outside and is heard by non-maḥram men?
A: There is no problem in clapping in the manner which is generally accepted by the common view, even if the sound is heard by non-maḥram men provided that it does not lead to any bad effects.
Q1175. What is the ruling in the matter of clapping which normally accompanies songs of praise of the Prophet (s.a.w.) and his Household (a.s.) and recitation of salawāt in birth parties of the Infallibles (a.s.) and other religious festival? And would the ruling be different if these celebrations were held in places of worship, such as masjids and prayer rooms in government departments and institutions?
A: Generally speaking, in itself there is no problem in clapping in the way common in such celebrations, or as a gesture of encouragement, or expression of approval and the like. However, it is more meritorious to adorn the celebratory atmosphere with the sound of chanting salawāt on the Prophet (s.a.w.), and his progeny (a.s.) and Allahuakbar especially when the event takes place in masjids and similar places of worship so that the participants would reap more reward.
Non-maḥrams’ Pictures and Films
Q1176. What is the ruling in the matter of looking at pictures of non-maḥram women who are not wearing ḥijāb? What is the view on viewing women appearing on television? Is the ruling different whether these women are Muslims or non-Muslims and whether or not it is a live broadcast?
A: Looking at the picture of a non-maḥram woman does not have the ruling of looking at the woman herself. Accordingly, there is no objection to it unless looking is accompanied by lust, there is fear of falling victim to temptation, or the picture belongs to a Muslim woman known to the mukallaf.
As a matter of obligatory caution, one should not view pictures of non-maḥram women on television that are broadcast live. As for that which is not broadcast live, there is no problem in it provided it is done without ill intentions and the fear of falling in ḥarām.
Q1177. What is the view on watching satellite programs? And is it permissible for the people living in the provinces neighboring the Gulf States to watch those states’ television stations?
A: Programs broadcast via Western satellite television stations and those of most neighboring countries teach misleading thoughts and misrepresentations. They also contain lahw and corrupt items and watching them often leads to corruption, going astray and committing ḥarām acts. So, it is not permissible to access these channels to watch the programs they broadcast.
Q1178. Is there any problem in watching or listening to comical programs broadcast from radio and television?
A: There is no problem in listening to satire programs and humorous shows or watching them unless they involve insult to a believer.
Q1179. In my wedding party a number of photographs were taken of me without my wearing ḥijāb. These pictures are now with my friends and relatives. Should I retrieve these pictures?
A: Should the keeping of these pictures by others entail no vile effect or it is difficult for you to collect the photos, you have no obligation in this regard.
Q1180. Is there any problem for us, as women, in kissing the pictures of the late Imam Khomeini (May his soul rest in peace) or the martyrs, as they are non-maḥrams to us?
A: As a whole, the pictures of people do not have the same ruling of the people themselves. Therefore, there is no problem in kissing these pictures as a mark of respect, love, and blessing provided that no evil intentions are harbored and no fear of falling into sinful act is there.
Q1181. Is it permissible to look at pictures of semi naked or naked women, unknown to us, such as those appearing on films and television?
A: Generally speaking, watching moving pictures and photographs does have not the same ruling as looking in reality at people non-maḥram to you. Accordingly, there is no objection to it, as per Islamic law, if it is not done with lust, evil intention, and does not lead to a bad result. However, since watching obscene pictures is inherently intertwined with looking with sexual urge, and it is a precursor to committing ḥarām acts, it is, therefore, ḥarām.
Q1182. In wedding parties, is it permissible for a woman to arrange for taking pictures of herself without the permission of her husband? Assuming that it is permissible, is it obligatory on her to observe proper ḥijāb?
A: Taking photos, per se, does not depend on the permission of the husband. However, if there is a possibility that non-maḥram men may see her pictures and that not observing proper ḥijāb could lead to a bad deed, she should observe it.
Q1183. Is it permissible for a woman to watch men wrestling?
A: It is not permissible if the watching is done by attending the ring, with lust and questionable thoughts, or the fear of falling victim to temptation. Watching it through live television broadcast is not permissible by obligatory caution. Otherwise, there is no harm in it.
Q1184. In a wedding party, should the bride cover her head with a light, transparent veil, is it permissible for a non-maḥram man to take pictures of her?
A: Should taking pictures entail ḥarām looking at a non-maḥram woman, it is not permissible. Otherwise, there is no problem.
Q1185. What is the ruling in the matter of taking pictures for women mingling with their maḥrams? And what is the view if there is a possibility that a man who is non-maḥram to them is going to see these pictures while they are developed and printed?
A: There is no problem if the photographer who looks at them to take pictures is one of their maḥrams. There should also be no problem in developing and printing these pictures by a person who does not know them.
Q1186. Some youth look at obscene pictures. They put forward a number of justifications for doing so. What is the view in this matter? Should looking at these pictures contribute to dulling the desire and, in turn minimizing the tendency to committing that which is ḥarām, how should one go about it?
A: Should looking at the pictures be with ill intentions or when the looker knows that it will lead to sexual excitation, the fear of falling into ḥarām, or bad consequences; it is ḥarām. Trying not to commit an act of ḥarām by allowing oneself to fall prey to that which is ḥarām at the outset is not a valid justification to embark on the practice.
Q1187. What is the view on attending wedding parties for filming, knowing that there would be music and dancing? What is the view of filming by a man in men-only parties and a woman in women-only parties? What is the view on developing films of wedding parties by men, regardless of the fact that the producer of the film knows the family? And will the ruling be different if the developer is a woman? And finally, is it permissible to use music in editing these films?
A: There is no harm in attending wedding parties, nor is there any harm in men filming in men-only parties and women filming in women-only parties provided that this does not entail listening to a ḥarām kind of music and singing; this should also not lead to the commission of any other ḥarām act. However, filming parties by the opposite sex is not allowed if it leads to looking with ill intentions or falling into other kinds of bad consequences. The use of lahwī music, which deviates one from the way of Allah, in editing wedding parties’ films is also ḥarām.
Q1188. Given the nature of movies — be they foreign or local — and music which are broadcast from the television of the Islamic Republic, what is the view on watching and listening to them?
A: Should the listener or viewer conclude that the music that is broadcast from radio and television is of the lahwī type which deviates people from the way of Allah, or that watching the movie which is broadcast from television would necessarily lead to vile consequences, it is not permissible to either listen to or watch. Broadcasting from radio and television per se is not a shar‘ī reason for it to be permissible.
Q1189. What is the ruling in the matter of printing and selling the pictures which ostensibly portray the Prophet (s.a.w.) and Imams Ali and Ḥusayn (a.s.) for putting them in government offices?
A: From the shar‘ī point of view; there is no objection to it in itself. That said, this should not entail any insult or degrading act in common opinion, or detract from the status of those luminaries (a.s.).
Q1190. What is the ruling in the matter of reading obscene books and poems arousing one’s sexual passion?
A: It should be avoided.
Q1191. Satellite television stations broadcast soap operas that deal with social problems in Western societies. Inevitably, they treat things like the mixing of the sexes, adultery, etc., as a matter of course. Watching these programs started to have its undesirable effects on some believers. What is the view on watching such programs by those who possibly may be affected by what they watch? Would the ruling be different if the person previews them in order to criticize these programs and to inform people of their negative points persuading people not to watch them?
A: It is not permissible to watch them with lust, nor is it permissible to do so if there is a possibility that one is going to be affected by what he sees or if a fear of depravation exists. As for watching these programs to prepare a critique and show people the dangers and negative aspects they contain, there is no harm in it provided that the critics are qualified to do the job and guarantee that they are not going to be affected by these programs or fall victim to corruption.
Q1192. Is it permissible to look at the hair of a female newsreader that normally appears with make-up and without covering her head/chest?
A: There is no harm in watching per se provided that one is careful not to look with lust, there is no fear of committing a ḥarām act of falling into corruption and that the broadcast is not live.
Q1193. Is it permissible to watch films that are bound to excite one’s imagination and sexual urge if the person is married?
A: If watching these films is intended to stir one’s desire or watching them leads to such a thing, it is not permissible.
Q1194. What is the ruling in the matter of married men watching films which give instructions about how best they can make love to their pregnant wives provided that it does not lead to committing a ḥarām?
A: It is not permissible to watch such films that normally are accompanied by lustful watching.
Q1195. What is the view on the work of the officials of the ministry of guidance which involves checking films and printed material to ascertain that they do not contain harmful scenes/material for eventual release, noting that the process involves watching and listening attentively?
A: There is no problem in censorship officials watching, and listening to, them attentively as far as necessity requires, so long as this is part of their legal job. However, they should be vigilant not to fall victim to looking lustfully or with ill intentions. Furthermore, these officials should be subject to authorities’ control and guidance both ideologically and spiritually.
Q1196. What is the view on watching video films which contain unsavory scenes for the purpose of censorship and eliminating the corrupt scenes before showing them to others?
A: There is no problem in that, should it be for reforming the film and removing its dissolute scenes provided that the person entrusted with the job should be immune against committing a ḥarām act.
Q1197. Is it permissible for married couples to watch pornographic films in their own home? And is it permissible for a person with a severed spinal cord to do so in order to be able to make love to his wife?
A: It is not permissible to stimulate one’s sexual urges by way of watching video films containing sexual scenes.
Q1198. What is the ruling in the matter of secretly watching films and pictures banned by the Islamic state if it does not entail bad results? And what is the ruling for the young couple?
A: In the light of the ban, it is problematic.
Q1199. What is the ruling in the matter of watching films that contain material showing irreverence towards that which the Islamic Republic holds sacred and dear or viewed as insulting to His Holiness, the Leader of Muslims?
A: It must be avoided.
Q1200. What is the view on watching Iranian films that were produced after the triumph of the revolution, showing women wearing imperfect ḥijāb and which sometimes contain harmful scenes?
A: There is no problem in watching these films in itself if the viewer does not intend watching them with lust or ill intention and it does not cause him to fall victim to bad consequences. It is noteworthy that the producers of these films should avoid producing films which go against valuable Islamic teachings.
Q1201. What is the ruling in the matter of distributing and showing films, which are passed by the ministry of guidance? And what is the view on distributing musical cassettes in the universities, especially, after the distribution has been sanctioned by the mentioned ministry?
A: If the mukallaf thinks that these films and cassettes contain lahwī — by the common view — songs and music which deviate people form the way of Allah, it is not permissible to distribute, sell, watch, and listen to them. Approval by the competent authorities per se is not a valid reason to make it permissible for the mukallaf, so long as he views the matter differently from the authorities licensing the material.
Q1202. What is the ruling in the matter of buying, selling, and keeping magazines of women’s fashion, which normally contain pictures of non-maḥram women, especially when the aim is choosing and making dresses?
A: The mere presence of pictures of non-maḥram women in such magazines should not make it objectionable to sell, buy, or make choices for women’s fashion unless the pictures are of the kind that entails bad consequences.
Q1203. Is it permissible to buy or sell television cameras?
A: There is no harm in selling and buying television cameras provided that it is not intended for a ḥarām use.
Q1204. What is the ruling in the matter of buying, selling, and renting video films showing explicit sexual scenes and the video machine itself?
A: Should these films contain sexually stimulating scenes which are bound to lead the viewer astray and to depravity, or contain lahwī songs and music that deviate people from the way of Allah, it is not permissible to produce, sell, buy, or rent them out. Nor is it permissible to rent the video recorder to be used for these purposes.
Q1205. Is it permissible to listen to news bulletins or scientific and cultural programs broadcast by foreign radio stations?
A: There is no objection to it unless it leads to corruption and going astray.
Satellite Television Equipment
Q1206. Is it permissible to buy, keep and use satellite television equipment to receive programs? And what is the ruling if a person gets such equipment for free?
A: By virtue of its nature, a satellite receiver is a medium to access television programs whether the latter are ḥalāl or ḥarām. Thus, they are treated as instruments that serve a dual purpose in that it is ḥarām to buy, sell, or acquire them in order to use them for ḥarām purposes. Conversely, they are ḥalāl if they are used for ḥalāl ends.
However, since satellite equipment makes it so easy for its owner to receive ḥarām programs, and sometimes leads to other corruptive matters, it is not permissible to buy or keep them unless for a person who is absolutely sure that he is not going to use the equipment for ḥarām purposes and the availability of such equipment at home is not going to lead to any bad consequence.
Q1207. Is it permissible for those who live outside the Islamic Republic to buy and sell satellite television equipment to receive the channels of the Islamic Republic?
A: Despite the fact that the said equipment is regarded as that serving a dual purpose, which could be used for ḥalāl aims, it is, in the main, used for ḥarām purposes; in addition, it may entail other evil practices if used at home. It is, therefore, not permissible to buy and use at home unless for one who is absolutely sure that it is not going to be used for ḥarām purposes and that installing it at home is not going to lead to any other evil practice.
Q1208. What is the view if the satellite equipment is programmed in such a way that it receives the channels of the Islamic Republic, news bulletins and useful programs of the Persian Gulf television stations plus all Western and corruptive channels?
A: The criterion for making it permissible to use this equipment for receiving television programs is what we have just outlined, regardless of whether the station is Western or otherwise.
Q1209. What is the ruling in the matter of installing satellite television equipment to receive scientific and Qur’anic programs or the like that are broadcast by Western countries or others?
A: Although the use of such equipment to watch scientific and Qur’anic programs via satellite is not objectionable in itself, programs broadcast by the satellite television stations of Western and most of the neighboring countries often contain misleading poisonous material and misrepresentations of the truths as well as programs of lahw and corruption and even watching [the so-called] Qur’anic and scientific programs could lead to corrupt and ḥarām practices. Accordingly, it is ḥarām as per Islamic law to make use of satellite television equipment to watch these programs unless the programs are useful and pure scientific or Qur’anic ones so that watching them does not entail any corruption or ḥarām act.
Q1210. I repair television and radio receivers. Of late, many customers have been approaching me to install and/or repair their satellite equipment. What should I do? And what is the ruling in the matter of selling and buying spare parts for such equipment?
A: It is not permissible to repair, buy, sell, install, or operate this equipment or spare parts should the end use of the equipment be ḥarām — which is often the case — or that you are sure it is going to be used for a ḥarām purpose.
Theatre and Cinema
Q1211. Is it permissible to use the uniform of the Islamic clerk and judges in making moving pictures? Is it permissible to make films that deal with religious and mystical issues, especially those talking about the lives and achievements of the late or contemporary clerics while observing their dignity and the inviolability of Islam? All of these are aimed at portraying noble Islamic values and explaining the idea of mysticism (‘irfān) and the rich Islamic culture; it is also an attempt to stand up to and stem the onslaught of the adverse culture of the enemy. I should add that the introduction of such subjects through effective cinematic techniques has a great impact that would attract a wide audience, especially the youth?
A: In view of the fact that cinema is a medium through which enlightenment and information could be spread, there is no harm in showing anything of useful effect for the intellectual development of the youth and others or in promoting Islamic culture. Included in this is the introduction of religious scholars and their special life histories as well as that of officials and other scholars. However, it is obligatory to observe their particular status, respect, and sanctity of their right to privacy. This should not be used as a means to disseminating any anti-Islamic propaganda, as well.
Q1212. We intend to make a film portraying the story of the martyrdom of Imam Ḥusayn (a.s.), especially the principles for which he sacrificed his life. It is noteworthy that the actor who will play the role of the Imam is not going to appear in the flesh, i.e., just a luminous person. Is it permissible to make such a film?
A: Should the story of the film be based on reliable sources with utmost consideration of the sanctity of the subject and the integrity and status of Imam (a.s.), his companions, and household, there is no harm in that. However, since it is very difficult to tackle the subject carefully and accord due reverence to the integrity of the martyred Imam and his companions; one has to observe caution in this matter.
Q1213. What is the view on men wearing women’s clothes and vice versa for the purpose of acting on theatre or in films? And what is the view on the opposite sexes mimicking the voice of each other?
A: It is not remote to be permissible for the opposite sexes to wear each other’s clothes or mimic the voice of each other in acting and expressing the characters of a real person provided that it does not cause corruption.
Q1214. What is the ruling in the matter of women wearing make-up for acting purposes in performances which are attended by men as well?
A: If applying make-up is undertaken by the person herself, or by another woman, or by one’s maḥram, and it does not entail any corruption, there is no objection to that. Otherwise, it is not permissible. Of course, their face with make-up should be covered in front of non-maḥrams.
Painting and Sculpture
Q1215. What is the view on making dolls and sculpture, or drawing living beings (plants, animals, and human beings)? And what is the view on selling, buying, acquiring, and exhibiting these items?
A: There is no harm at all in the sculpture, photography and drawings of living beings whether or not they have a soul. Also, it is permissible to sell, buy, or keep pictures and statues. There is no objection to showing them in an exhibition as well.
Q1216. In the new curriculum, there is a subject called self-reliance. Part of the subject deals with sculpture. The teachers ask the students to make dolls of rabbits, dogs, and the like from cloth or other items. What is the ruling in this matter? What is the ruling on the teachers’ instructions in this regard? And to what extent does the completion in full-size of these dolls affect the ruling?
A: There is no problem in making a statue or ordering another person to do so.
Q1217. What is the ruling in the matter of children drawing pictures of Qur’anic stories such as that of the People of the Elephant and the cleavage of the sea for Moses (a.s.)?
A: There is no objection to it in itself. However, it must be based on the truth, making sure to avoid dabbling in falsehoods and not to impinge on the sanctity of the subject matter.
Q1218. Is it permissible to manufacture dolls and statues of beings having spirits like human beings by using machinery?
A: There is no harm in it.
Q1219. What is the ruling in the matter of making jewelry in the form of statuettes? And does the material which goes into the making of the jewelry have any bearing on the ruling, in that it may be ḥarām?
A: It is permissible to make statuettes regardless of the material used in making them.
Q1220. Is returning the parts of a dismantled doll, such as hand, leg, and head to it included in the impermissibility of making a statue? And could it fall in the category of making statues?
A: Making limbs or returning them to their places per se is not considered as sculpture. At any rate, making a statue is no problem.
Q1221. What is the view on body tattooing which is usually done by some people and it is a method of obtaining marks or designs on the skin that are not removable? And does it constitute any barrier to water, used for ghusl or wuḍū’, reaching the skin?
A: Tattooing is not ḥarām and the mark it leaves under the skin does not form a barrier to water reaching the skin. Thus, ghusl and wuḍū’, with a tattoo on any part of the body, are valid.
Q1222. A married couple of famous painters make a living of restoring paintings. Most of these paintings depict Christian society; some of them portray the crucifix, Mary and Jesus Christ (a.s.) Some companies and institutions or even some people on behalf of Churches refer to them for this purpose. Is it permissible for them to carry out the required restoration work on such paintings and get paid for it, knowing that it is their only way of making living and they are devout Muslims?
A: There is no harm in the mere restoring of such paintings, even if they depict Christian society or portray Jesus Christ and Mary (a.s.). Nor is there any harm in taking fees for such work or taking up such a profession and earning a living from it unless it contributes to promoting falsehoods or misleading ideas or leads to other vile deeds.
Magic, Conjuring, and Evocation of Spirits and Jinn
Q1223. What is the view on teaching, learning, and watching conjuring? And what is the view on performing (to an audience) illusionary tricks which depend on quick handwork?
A: It is ḥarām to learn or teach or learn conjuring which is considered as a kind of magic. As for entertainment accompanied by sleight of hand and quick movement that are not considered magic, there is no harm in them.
Q1224. Is it permissible to learn fortune telling, geomancy, jafr, and similar things which tell about the unseen?
A: Nowadays, people’s knowledge of these sciences cannot be relied on — with absolute certainty — in discovering the unseen. However, there is no harm in learning sciences like jafr and raml (geomancy) in the proper way provided that it does not lead to vileness.
Q1225. Is it permissible to train in magic and apply it? And is it permissible to evoke the spirits of humans, angels, and jinn?
A: Magic is ḥarām, so is training in it unless it is taken up for a sensible and legitimate reason. Regarding evocation of spirits, angels, and jinn, the ruling varies in terms of cases, means, and objectives.
Q1226. What is the view on believers seeking healing with spiritual healers (those who utilize spirits for treating diseases) if the patient is sure that they do not do but good?
A: There is no harm in it in itself if the process is achieved through lawful means according to Islam.
Q1227. Is it permissible to take up divination by means of the sands and earn a living thereof?
A: Telling a lie is not permissible.
Q1228. Is it permissible to do hypnosis?
A: There is no harm in it if it is done for a sensible motive, with the consent of the person to be hypnotized and it is not associated with any ḥarām act.
Q1229. Some people took to hypnosis not for healing purposes, rather to display human spiritual power. Is it permissible? And is it permissible for those who have some experience in this field, yet not specialists, to do it?
A: Generally speaking, there is no objection to be trained in hypnosis, nor is there any objection to using it for ḥalāl, reasonable, and significant purposes provided that the consent of the person to be hypnotized is obtained and that no considerable harm for him is expected.
Q1230. What is the ruling in the matter of selling and buying lottery tickets? And what is the view if any prize is won in the process?
A: Buying and selling lottery tickets are, by obligatory caution, ḥarām. It does not belong to the person winning the prize, nor is he allowed to receive it.
Q1231. What is the ruling of buying tickets in the name of ‘social welfare gifts’ which are distributed among people?
A: There is no shar‘ī objection to publishing and distributing tickets for collecting people’s contributions and using them in charity and encouraging the contributors through stipulation of drawing lots. Also, paying for such tickets with the intention of participating in charitable matters is no problem.
Q1232. A person offered his car for sale by way of lottery. It works like this: Those willing to take part in the draw buy the ticket for a certain amount. After the specified period is up and the target money achieved, the draw takes place. The holder of the winning ticket would own the car. Is this way of giving the car through drawing a lot permissible in the Islamic law?
A: Buying and selling those tickets are, by obligatory caution, ḥarām. The prize (car) does not belong to the person winning the prize; rather, for its ownership, the car's owner should transfer its ownership to him through a valid shar‘ī contract, like selling, presenting, or ṣulḥ.
Q1233. Is it permissible to sell bonds destined for collecting people’s charitable donations with the intention of making a draw at a later date, then some of the money collected would be distributed among the participants as gifts and the remaining proceeds are dedicated to projects of public benefit?
A: Naming this work as “selling” is incorrect. However, there is no harm in distributing these bonds in the avenues that serve charitable causes. It is permissible to encourage potential donors by promising them prizes by way of a draw provided that people obtain these bonds with the intention of taking part in charitable causes.
Q1234. Is it permissible to buy lotto tickets, noting that the company running the enterprise are privately owned and only 20% of its profit goes to women’s charitable institutions?
A: Buying and selling them is, by obligatory caution, ḥarām and the money obtained by the winners does not belong to them.
Teaching, Learning and Their Proprieties
Q1310. Should man be held guilty for abandoning the gaining of knowledge about religious issues which are usually encountered by him?
A: He would be considered as a sinner if it results in his neglect of an obligatory deed or committing a ḥarām act.
Q1311. A theology student has finished the first stage of his study. He is confident that he can carry on attaining the level of ijtihād. Does it become obligatory on him, as an ‘aynī obligation, to finish his studies?
A: There is no doubt that to gain religious knowledge and to peruse it up to the attainment of the level of ijtihād is a great merit in itself. However, the mere ability to reach the level of ijtihād does not make it an ‘aynī obligation on the student to do so.
Q1312. What are the avenues of reaching certitude in matters of the fundamentals of religion?
A: It is often reached through rational proofs and evidence. However, the proof varies in accordance with people’s intellects. If it so happened that someone had reached certitude through a different avenue, this would be sufficient.
Q1313. What is the ruling in the matters of lethargy in gaining knowledge and time wasting? Are they ḥarām?
A: Wasting one’s time by doing nothing is a problematic issue. Should the student be benefiting of the grant and concessions normally accorded to the students, he should have no alternative but to be bound by the curriculum. Otherwise, he is not allowed to avail himself of student grants, scholarships, etc.
Q1314. In the school of economics the professor, in some lectures, deals with certain matters pertaining to ribā-bearing loans and compares the ways of borrowing with interest in trade and commerce. What is the ruling in the matter of teaching this subject and getting paid for it?
A: Teaching and discussing the subject pertaining to ribā-bearing loans per se, is not ḥarām.
Q1315. What is the right way for the devout specialists and other professionals in imparting their knowledge to the people in the Islamic Republic? And who, in government departments, is entitled to have access to important information and technology?
A: There is no objection to anyone learning any discipline; provided that it is done for legitimate and sensible reasons and that there is no risk of getting corrupted or causing corruption, except for those sciences and information about whose teaching and learning the Islamic state has passed some laws.
Q1316. Is it permissible to teach and study philosophy in Islamic seminaries?
A: There is no objection to learning or studying philosophy for those who are confident that it would not weaken their firm religious beliefs. Indeed, in certain circumstances, it becomes obligatory.
Q1317. What is the ruling in the matter of buying and selling misleading books such as “The Satanic Verses”?
A: It is not permissible to sell, buy, or keep misleading books unless for a person who wants to answer/refute their contents and is knowledgeable enough to do so.
1318. What is the view on teaching and storytelling of fables and fictions that deal with human beings and animals if there is any benefit that could be gained from doing so?
A: There is no harm in it if it is understood from the context that it is imaginary.
Q1319. What is the ruling on enrolling in a university where men mix with women, especially when some of the women are not wearing ḥijāb?
A: There is no objection to going to educational institutes for acquiring knowledge and teaching. However, it is incumbent on women and girls to observe ḥijāb; it is equally incumbent on men to avoid looking in ḥarām way and keeping away from mixing with the opposite sex, which normally leads to temptation and corruption.
Q1320. Is it permissible for a woman to learn driving with the help of a non-maḥram instructor if she observers ḥijāb and chastity throughout?
A: There is no objection to learning driving with the help of a non-maḥram instructor provided that she observes ḥijāb and chastity and ensures that no vile deed is going to be committed. However, it is advisable that one among her maḥram should accompany her. Indeed, it is even much better if she learns driving with the help of a female instructor or one of her maḥram.
Q1321. University students of both sexes meet each other and discuss matters ranging from study to exchanging light-hearted jokes. Of course this is done without any questionable intentions or sexual pleasure. Is it permissible?
A: There is no objection to it provided that female students observe proper ḥijāb, no questionable intention is involved, and one is immune from corrupting practices. Otherwise, it is impermissible.
Q1322. Which scientific specializations are more beneficial to both Islam and Muslims these days?
A: It is advisable that scientists, professors, and university students pay due attention to all useful scientific fields, which Muslims need, so that they have no need of foreigners, especially those who harbor enmity to Islam and Muslims. To determine which field is the most beneficial is the responsibility of the officials concerned, taking into consideration the existing conditions.
Q1323. What is the ruling in the matter of reading misleading books or the books that belong to other faiths in order to acquire insight into them and get more knowledge and information about them?
A: If it is done just to get acquainted with them and increase one’s information, it is problematic to rule it permissible. However, it is permissible for a person who is capable to sift through such books with a view to distinguishing falsehoods and refuting them provided that one is absolutely confident not to go astray.
Q1324. What is the ruling in the matter of enrolling one’s children in schools that teach false beliefs, assuming that they are not going to be affected by what they are taught?
A: There is no objection to it if there is no risk of the children’s belief, it does not contribute to promoting falsehood, and they can skip the study of false and misguiding subjects.
Q1325. A university student is in his fourth year in the school of medicine. He has a burning desire to be a theology student. Is it obligatory for him to continue with his study of medicine or can he make a change?
A: The student has the choice to follow any discipline he prefers. However, it is important to stress that although religious studies are important for providing a service to the Islamic society, training in medicine is also important in order to provide medical services to the Islamic nation, to treat sick people, and to save their lives.
Q1326. A teacher severely punished one of his students in front of his classmates. Is the student justified to retaliate against him?
A: He does not have the right to retaliate in a way violating the status of the teacher. Indeed, it is obligatory on the student to preserve the dignity of the teacher and keep order in the classroom. However, he can solve the problem through legal ways. By the same token, the teacher should preserve the dignity of the student before his classmates and accord due regard to the Islamic code of teaching.
Q1327. What is the ruling in the matter of reproducing books and articles of foreign origin, or those published inside the Islamic Republic, without the permission of the publishers?
A: As regards reprinting, or offset, of books printed outside the Islamic Republic, it is governed by bilateral agreements reached by the two countries in this regard. As a matter of caution the rights of the publishers inside the country should be preserved by way of asking their permission to reprint their books.
Q1328. Is it permissible for authors, translators, and artists to claim to be remunerated for the time, money, and effort they put in such works?
A: It is within their right to demand from the publisher whatever they like for delivering their first original manuscript or piece of work to the publisher.
Q1329. Suppose that the writer, translator, or artist received a fee for the first edition of their piece of work, and, at the same time made a provision that they are to be given a share in the proceeds from selling the subsequent edition. Are they justified in demanding a share of the proceeds of subsequent sales? And how should the money, received in such a way, be treated?
A: In case the owner of the work has made a provision in the contract reached for delivering the original one that he should receive an amount of money for the subsequent editions or the law requires so, then there is no objection to receive it and the publisher is obliged to observe the provision.
Q1330. Suppose that the author did not specify anything regarding the subsequent editions, is it permissible for the publisher to reprint the material with neither his permission nor paying him for it?
A: If the contract signed between the two parties is confined to printing the first edition only, it is a caution to preserve his right and ask his permission for the subsequent editions.
Q1331. In case the compiler is absent due to travel, death or the like, who should one approach for permission to reproduce his work and to whom should the money be paid?
A: By caution, the permission of the compiler’s representative or legal guardian must be obtained. In the event of his death, his heirs’ permission must – by caution - be obtained.
Q1332. Is it permissible to reprint books without the permission of their owners, especially with the existence of the phrase "All rights reserved"?
A: It is a matter of caution that the rights of both the author and the publisher must be respected through obtaining their permission to reprint the material. Of course, in cases that there is a rule, it should be observed. It should be observed in the following issues as well.
Q1333. Some cassettes containing Qur’anic recitation and religious songs bear the phrase "Recording rights reserved". Is it permissible to make copies of such cassettes and give them to people who are interested in acquiring them?
A: As a matter of caution one should obtain the permission of the original publishers to make copies of the cassette.
Q1334. Is it permissible to make copies of computer disks? Assuming that it is ḥarām, is this confined to disks produced in Iran or does the ruling go beyond that to cover imported disks, especially when we know that the prices of some of these disks are very high because of their contents’ importance?
A: It is a caution to respect the rights of the owners by seeking their permission to make copies of the computer disks produced in Iran. In case they are produced abroad, it depends on the contract signed.
Q1335. Do trademarks of supermarkets or companies belong only to their owners so much so that others have no right to use the same trademarks for their businesses? To give an example, suppose that a person owns a business bearing the name of the family. Is it permissible for another member of the same family to use the same name for their business? And is it permissible for another person, who does not belong to the same family, to trade under the same name?
A: If the government, according to the ongoing laws gives the trademarks to someone who requested it earlier than the others and the trademark is registered in their names in administrative files, then, it is not permissible for others — including the family members of a person who acquired that trademark — to use it without the permission of its owner. Otherwise, there is no objection to doing so.
Q1336. Is it permissible for the owner of a photocopier to photocopy some material, on the pretext that they can be of benefit to the believers, without the permission of the owner of the printed matter? And would the ruling be different if the owner of the photocopier knew that the owner of the printed matter would object to people copying his material?
A: As a matter of caution, one should not take the initiative to photocopy the material without the permission of its owner.
Q1337. Some believers hire videotapes from a video shop. Upon viewing the material, they fancy it and accordingly make a copy of it without the permission of the shopkeeper. They do so on the understanding that the majority of the mujtahids do not recognize copyright. Are such people justified in what they are doing? On the assumption that it is not permissible, should those who have made copies hasten to seek the permission of the owners of the tape or is the wiping of the contents of the cassette sufficient?
A: As a matter of caution, one should not copy a videotape without the permission of its owners. However, if a person has already done so without the permission of the owner of the tape, it is sufficient to wipe the recorded material off the tape.
Dealing with non-Muslims
Q1338. Is it permissible to import Israeli goods and advertise them? If there is no other choice, is it permissible to sell such goods?
A: It is forbidden to embark on any dealings that may serve the interests of the usurping state of Israel which harbors enmity towards Islam and Muslims. It is not permissible for anyone to import and promote its goods, production and selling of which benefits the Israelis. Nor is it permissible for Muslims to buy such goods, because it entails bad effects and is detrimental to Islam and Muslims.
Q1339. Is it permissible for merchants to import and promote Israeli goods in a country that has lifted the boycott of Israeli goods?
A: They have to refrain from importing and promoting goods whose production and selling would benefit the deplorable state of Israel.
Q1340. Is it permissible for Muslims to buy Israeli goods that are on offer in a Muslim country?
A:It is incumbent on every Muslim to refrain from buying and making use of goods whose production and sale would benefit the Zionists who are at war with Islam and Muslims.
Q1341. Is it permissible to set up travel agencies in Muslim lands with a view to selling tickets for travel to Israel? And is it permissible for Muslims to buy tickets from such agencies?
A: It is not permissible, for it is detrimental to Islam and Muslims. Nor is it permissible for anyone to do anything that may constitute a violation of the Muslim boycott of Israel which is the enemy of Muslims and is at war with them.
Q1342. Is it permissible to buy the products of Jewish, American, or Canadian companies if there is a probability that they are supportive of Israel?
A: If the proceeds from the sale and purchase of these goods would contribute to supporting the occupying, wretched state of Israel or to opposing Islam and Muslims, it is not permissible for anybody to buy or sell such things. Otherwise, there is no objection to it.
Q1343. Should Israeli goods be imported to a Muslim country, is it permissible for retailers to buy some of them and sell them to the public and advertise them?
A: It is not permissible for them to do that because it constitutes corruption.
Q1344. Should Israeli goods be available on the open market in a Muslim country, can Muslims buy them, especially when it is possible to buy other goods imported form other countries?
A: It is incumbent on every Muslim to refrain from buying and making use of goods, production and sale of which would benefit the Zionists who are at war with Islam and Muslims.
Q1345. Some importers of Israeli goods falsify the documents and re-export such goods as though they belong to another country, such as Turkey and Cyprus, which imported them in the first place. They do so to deceive Muslims who, once they know that the goods are of Israeli origin, would not buy them. What should the Muslims do in these circumstances?
A: Muslims should refrain from buying, promoting, and using such goods.
Q1346. What is the ruling in the matter of buying and selling American goods? Is the ruling universal, i.e., does it cover other Western countries, such as France and Britain? Is it to observe this ruling only in Iran or is it universal?
A: Should the buying of goods, which have been imported from non-Muslim countries, and using them contribute to strengthening the infidel and colonizing states which are the enemies of Islam and Muslims or provide them with financial support they may use to attack Muslims or Islamic lands all over the world, it is the duty of Muslims to refrain from buying and using such goods. The nature of the goods or their countries of origin is immaterial so long as such countries harbor enmity towards Islam and Muslims. The ruling is not confined to Iranian Muslims.
Q1347. What is the position of people working in factories and establishments that would generate income for the infidel states and that would in the end render them strong?
A: In itself, there is no objection to dealing in legitimate business, even if it leads to generating profits for non-Islamic states unless the state is at war with the Muslims and exploits their labor to serve its war machine.
Working for Oppressive States
Q1348. Is it permissible to work in the government sector in a non-Islamic country?
A: The permissibility thereof hinges on the job in being permissible per se.
Q1349. A person works for the traffic administration in an Arabic country. Among his responsibilities is to sign for imprisoning of those who violate traffic rules. Is such work permissible? And what is the ruling on the salary the person gets from the government for doing such a job?
A: Observing laws and regulations passed — even by a non-Islamic government — for maintaining social order is a must. There is no objection to receiving salary for ḥalāl work.
Q1350. Is it permissible for a naturalized Muslim living in the States or Canada to join the army or to take a job with the police? Is it permissible for such a Muslim to work in government departments, municipality, and semi-governmental institutions?
A: There is no objection to it if doing such a job does not entail any bad effect, committing a ḥarām act, or abandoning an obligation.
Q1351. Does a judge, who has been appointed by a tyrannical regime for judgment, have legitimacy? Should his judgment, therefore, be obeyed?
A: It is not permissible for any person, who is not a qualified mujtahid, to be a judge and settle disputes between people unless he has been appointed by a qualified authority who has the right to appoint him. [If not], members of the public should not have recourse to such a judge and any judgment passed by him is not binding except for the necessary cases.
Rules on Clothing and Conspicuous ones
Q1352. What is the criterion for what are called “conspicuous clothes”?
A: They are the types of clothes that are not suitable for wearing, be it for their color, design, being worn, or any other reason. The yardstick is that when the person wears such clothes they would definitely attract the attention of other people, so much so that their look would be conspicuous.
Q1353. What is the ruling in the matter of the sound of tapping produced by a woman’s shoes while walking?
A: There is no harm in it in itself provided that it does not draw the attention of other people and lead to vile consequences.
Q1354. Is it permissible for a young woman to wear clothes that are dark blue in color?
A: There is no objection to it in itself unless it attracts the attention of other people and leads to bad consequences.
Q1355. In wedding parties or the like, is it permissible for women to wear transparent or tight clothes that show the contours of their bodies and other types of dresses that show most parts of their bodies?
A: If women are insulated from the gaze of men who are non-maḥram to them, and are immune to falling victim to vile deeds, there is no harm in their wearing such clothes. Otherwise, it is not permissible.
Q1356. Is it permissible for a devout woman to wear glittering black shoes?
A: There is no harm in wearing any type/color of shoes unless the color or the design attracts the attention of non-mḥrams, or makes her conspicuous.
Q1357. Is it incumbent on the woman to choose black colors for her clothing, e.g., headscarf, trousers, and dress?
A: The ruling mentioned in the previous answer is applied to the woman’s clothing, i.e., its color, shape, and design.
Q1358. Is it permissible for a woman to wear a kind of ḥijāb or dress objects that could trigger the attention of other people or unleash their desire, e.g., to wear a chador in an unconventional way or choose socks with color or material which unleash the desire?
A: It is not permissible for women to wear anything, whose color, design, or manner of wearing may be attractive to non-maḥram’s attention or could eventually lead to bad effects or committing that which is ḥarām.
Q1359. Is it permissible for men to wear women’s clothes and vice versa inside one’s house without the intention of emulating the opposite sex?
A: There is no harm in it provided that they do not take it as though it were their own dress.
Q1360. What is the ruling in the matter of men buying or selling women’s lingerie?
A: There is no harm in it in itself provided that it does not result in immorality and social decay.
Q1361. Is it permissible to make, buy, and sell transparent stockings?
A: There is no objection to making and trading in them provided that they are not intended for women to wear before men who are non-maḥram to them.
Q1362. Is it permissible for unmarried men to work in boutiques selling women’s clothes and cosmetics provided that they abide by religious as well as ethical norms?
A: The permissibility of legitimate work and earning ḥalāl living is not confined to one group of people. It is, therefore, permissible for anyone to go about their business provided that they abide by the Islamic norms and ethics. However, should the competent authorities require special conditions for trading in certain sectors, which may have been designed to protect the public interest, they have to be observed.
Q1363. What is the ruling in the matter of men wearing chains?
A: If they are made of gold or for the exclusive use of women, it is not permissible for men to wear them.
Smoking and Narcotics
Q1388. What is the view on smoking in government departments and public places?
A: It is not permissible if it is in contravention of the regulations in force in those departments and public places, nor is it permissible if it poses a nuisance to others or endangers their health.
Q1389. My brother is a drug addict and trafficker. Is it obligatory on me to report him to the official authorities in order to prevent him from doing so?
A: Upholding the obligation of forbidding the evil is obligatory upon you and you are required to help him give up the addiction and desist from trafficking in drugs. If informing the competent authorities would benefit him in any way or be considered as a preliminary step to forbid the evil, you should inform them.
Q1390. Is it permissible to use snuff? And what is the view on getting addicted to it?
A: Should there be a considerable danger from using it, it is not permissible to use, let alone to get addicted to it.
Q1391. Is it permissible to buy, sell, and smoke tobacco?
A: There is no objection to buying, selling, and using tobacco per se. However, should it spell a noticeable harmful effect to one’s well-being, it is not permissible to smoke, buy or sell it.
Q1392. Is hashish pure? And is it ḥarām to use?
A: Hashish is pure. However, it is ḥarām to use it.
Q1393. What is the ruling in the matter of using narcotics, such as hashish, opium, heroin, morphine, and marijuana, be it by way of eating, drinking, smoking, injecting or applying them anally? And what is the view on selling, buying, and dealing in them in general, i.e., carrying, transporting, storing, or smuggling?
A: It is ḥarām to use narcotics in any way because it results in considerable adverse effects in terms of personal health and social cost. By the same token, it is ḥarām to deal in narcotics in any way, i.e., carrying, transporting, storing, selling, buying, etc.
Q1394. Is it permissible to use narcotic drugs for the treatment of diseases? And assuming that it is permissible, is it absolutely permissible or in case that it is the only way of treatment?
A: There is no objection to it provided that the treatment and the eventual recovery are dependent on their use and it is prescribed by a trustworthy physician.
Q1395. What is the ruling in the matter of growing those plants that produce narcotic drugs like opium, heroin, morphine, hashish, and cocaine?
A: There is no objection to doing so for the sake of considerable ḥalāl purposes like producing medicines and treatment.
Q1396. What is the ruling in the matter of preparing drugs, whether natural, such as morphine and hashish, or synthetic, such as LSD?
A: It is not permissible.
Q1397. Is it permissible to smoke tobacco that is sprinkled with a kind of alcoholic drink? And is it permissible to inhale its smoke?
A: There is no objection to it provided that smoking that kind of tobacco would not, by the common view, be considered as though one is consuming an intoxicating drink. Also, it should not lead to drunkenness or a considerable harmful effect on one’s health. However, it is, as a matter of caution, advisable not to smoke it.
Q1398. Is smoking ḥarām to start with? And, if one, who is addicted to smoking, gives it up, is it ḥarām to goes back to it after a week or so?
A: The ruling varies according to the degree of damage resulting from smoking. Generally speaking, it is impermissible to smoke cigarettes in the amount that proves considerably harmful to one’s health. Also, if one knows that upon starting it, he will reach such a level, it is not permissible.
Q1399. What is the ruling in the matter of illicit money, such as that earned through trafficking in drugs? If we do not know about its owner, can it be considered as that of an anonymous owner? Should this be the case, is it permissible to have the right of making use of such money with the permission of the authorized religious authority or his representative?
A: If the person who gets hold of the money knows that it is illicit, they should return it to its rightful owner if they know him, albeit among a small group of people. Otherwise, they should give it away in charity on behalf of its rightful owner. Should the illicit money be mixed with the one’s licit money, without knowing its amount and owner, it is obligatory on him to pay khums on it which is to be paid to the authority in charge of khums.
Shaving the Beard
Q1400. What is meant by jaws on which growing a beard is obligatory? Do they include the cheeks?
A: The criterion is that the common view recognizes it as a beard.
Q1401. What should the minimum and maximum length of a beard be?
A: There is no definite measure. However, the criterion is based on what the common view recognizes as a beard. That said, it is disliked to let it grow longer than one’s own grasp.
Q1402. What is the view on lengthening one’s moustache and shortening the beard?
A: There is no harm in doing so in itself.
Q1403. Some men leave the hair around the chin grow, i.e., goatee, and shave the rest of the beard. What is the view on such practice?
A: The ruling on shaving part of the beard is the same as that passed on shaving the entire beard.
Q1404. Is shaving the beard considered as sin?
A: According to obligatory caution, shaving the beard is ḥarām. Therefore, rulings and consequences of a sinful act are applied to it as a matter of caution.
Q1405. What is the view on shaving one’s moustache? Is it permissible to let it grow long?
A: There is no objection to shaving the moustache, nor is there any objection to leaving it to grow long. However, to let it grow long in such a way that the hair comes into contact with food and drink while one is eating or drinking is disliked.
Q1406. What is the view on an actor, who, due to the nature of his work, is required to be clean-shaven either with a blade or a machine?
A: If shaving fits the label of beard shaving, it is, as a matter of caution, ḥarām. However, if his artistic work is regarded necessary for the Islamic society, there is no objection to his shaving his beard in a measure proportionate to the necessity of the work.
Q1407. As a public relations officer in one of the companies which belongs to the Islamic Republic, I have to buy and present shaving tools to the guests to shave their beards with. What should I do?
A: As a matter of caution, it is ḥarām to buy and give to others tools to be used for shaving beards unless necessity requires it.
Q1408. What is the ruling in the matter of shaving one’s beard if growing it would lead to denigration?
A: For a devout Muslim, growing a beard should not be a cause for feeling inferior or lowly. It is not, as a matter of caution, permissible to shave it unless growing it leads to putting oneself in harm or causes unbearable hardship.
Q1409. Is it permissible to shave one’s beard if it proves an obstacle to one’s achieving a legitimate goal?
A: The mukallaf must obey Allah’s injunctions, except in circumstances of facing unbearable hardship or noticeable harm.
Q1410. Is it permissible to buy, sell, and produce shaving cream, which is mainly used for shaving the beard although it is used for other shaving purposes?
A: Should it be acknowledged that this cream is used for lawful purposes other than that of shaving the beard, there is no objection to produce and sell it for this purpose.
Q1411. What is meant by the phrase “It is ḥarām to shave the beard”? Is it that when the hair is fully-grown and one shaves it, or is it true of shaving the facial hair grown in part?
A: Generally speaking, it is ḥarām, on basis of caution, to shave any part of the beard which is universally recognized as shaving a beard. However, there is no objection to shaving some of the hair which does not fit the label of shaving a beard.
Q1412. Is the money the barber charges for shaving a beard ḥarām? Assuming that it is so and that this money is mixed with ḥalāl money, is it incumbent on the person concerned to pay khums on it twice?
A: As per caution, it is ḥarām to receive any money for shaving a beard. If the amount of illicit money is known, it should be returned to its original owner — if he is known — or a settlement should be reached with him. If the owner is not known — even as a person among a small group of people — it is incumbent on recipient to give it to the poor in charity. If the amount of ḥarām money is not known but the owner is, it is obligatory on the person to reach a settlement, in any way possible, with the original owner.
Should neither the amount nor the owner be known, he has to purify his money from what is ḥarām by paying the khums. One should pay the khums of the left over money if it was an income and is not spent up to the end of the khums year for the yearly expenses.
Q1413. Sometimes people come to me to fix their shaving machines. Since shaving the beard is ḥarām, is it permissible for me to repair such machines?
A: Since this machine can be used for purposes other than shaving a beard, there is no harm in repairing it and getting paid for the work provided that it is not intended to be used for shaving the beard.
Q1414. Is it ḥarām to shave the hair of the cheeks or remove it in any other way, i.e., by using a string or tweezers?
A: It is not ḥarām to remove the hair growing on the cheeks, even by way of shaving.
Attending Gatherings of Debauchery
Q1415. From time to time parties, attended by professors and students alike, are held in the universities in foreign countries. It goes without saying that alcoholic drinks are served in such parties. What should be the position of the students who want to attend these parties?
A: It is not permissible for anyone to attend any gathering where alcoholic drinks are consumed. You should not take part in such activities to let it be known to those people that since you are Muslim, you neither drink alcoholic drinks nor attend gatherings where such drinks are served.
Q1416. What is the ruling in the matter of taking part in wedding parties? Is attending today’s wedding parties where dancing is commonplace tantamount to condoning the action, which can have the same punishment as those who have committed that action (consequently we should not participate in such parties)? Is it permissible to attend these parties without taking part in dancing and the other functions?
A: There is no problem in attending such gatherings provided that the gatherings do not fit the definition of "the gathering of sin and lahw" and taking part in them should also not entail any vile deed. However, the action should not be seen in the common view, as though one is supporting what is not permissible.
1) What is the ruling in the matter of taking part in ceremonies where men and women attend their respective gatherings and dance and play music?
2) Is it permissible to take part in wedding parties where dancing and playing music is commonplace?
3) Should one uphold the duty of forbidding the evil where dancing is taking place, especially when the people concerned are impervious to such counsel?
A: It is not permissible to dance if it excites sexual passion, is accompanied by, or entails, a ḥarām deed or non-maḥram men and women dance together. It makes no difference whether it is a wedding party or else. Similarly, it is not permissible to attend sin gatherings if it involves committing ḥarām deeds such as listening to lahwī music that deviates people from the way of Allah or understood as supporting that which is sinful. As for the duty of enjoining the good and forbidding evil, it ceases to be obligatory when it certainly falls on deaf ears.
Q1418. Suppose that a man attended a wedding party where there is, among those present, a woman without ḥijāb. Since the man knows that the woman is not going to listen to his forbidding her from the evil, does it become incumbent on him to leave the party?
A: Leaving the gathering of sin, in protest against what is taking place there, becomes obligatory when it amounts to the obligation of forbidding evil.
Q1419. Is it permissible to take part in gatherings where morally corrupt songs of ghinā’ are sung? And what is the ruling if someone is doubtful as to the nature of the songs and he cannot stop it?
A: It is not permissible to attend parties where lahwī ghinā’ and music that deviate one from the way of Allah take place when this leads to listening to such singing and music or supporting it. However, when someone is doubtful about their nature, there is no harm in attending and listening to them per se.
Q1420. What is the ruling in the matter of attending gatherings, where perhaps religious luminaries, the officials of the Islamic Republic, or other believers are being slandered?
A: There is no objection to attending such gatherings per se, i.e., without being afflicted with committing what is ḥarām, such as listening to backbiting, or promoting/condoning any evil deed. However, forbidding evil is a duty that has to be upheld if its conditions are available.
Q1421. In non-Muslim countries, alcoholic beverages are normally served in seminars and conferences. Is it permissible to participate in such seminars and conferences?
A: It is not permissible to be present in any gathering where alcoholic beverages are consumed. In case of necessity, the participation should be limited to that which is necessary.
Writing Supplications and Istikhārah
Q1422. Is it permissible to pay or receive money in return for writing supplications?
A: There is no harm in paying or receiving money for writing authentic supplications.
Q1423. What is the ruling in the matter of supplications whose writers allege that they are found in old books? Are these supplications lawfully recognized? And what is the view on referring to the writers?
A: If the supplications transmitted from the Imams (a.s.) or their contents are right, there is no harm in seeking the blessing from them. Nor is there any harm in seeking blessing in the ones whose authenticity is in doubt in the hope that they might have emanated from the infallible Imams (a.s.).
Q1424. Is it obligatory to act upon istikhārah?
A: Acting upon istikhārah is not binding as per shar‘. However, it is preferable not to act against its outcome.
Q1425. According to common belief, there is no place for istikhārah in doing charitable work. Is it, therefore, permissible to rely on istikhārah in order to determine the best way to go about doing this work or with a view to circumventing unforeseen problems in the process? And is istikhārah a means of knowing the unseen or does no one, apart from Allah, the Exalted, know about it?
A: Istikhārah should be embarked on as a way of overcoming indecision over doing lawful things, regardless of the nature of indecision, i.e., whether it is emanated from the nature of the intended action or the route taken to do it. Accordingly, doing charitable work, which does not call for indecision, should not necessitate resorting to istikhārah. Istikhārah is not a means to foretelling the future of the person or the work.
Q1426. Is it right to resort to istikhārah by way of consulting the Holy Qur’an in matters such as divorce? And what is the view on not acting on the result of istikhārah, having done it?
A: The permissibility of doing istikhārah by consulting the Holy Qur’an, or by way of prayer beads, is not confined to certain issues to the exclusion of others. Istikhārah could be made in all lawful circumstances where the person concerned is unable to decide upon the matter. It is not lawfully binding to follow the result of istikhārah, although it is advisable not to go against it.
Q1427. Is it proper to resort to istikhārah, by consulting the Holy Qur’an or by prayer beads, in decisive matters, such as marriage?
A: For making a decision on a matter, it is preferable to ponder about it and to consult experienced trustworthy people about it. If these steps fail to remove his/her indecision, one can resort to istikhārah.
Q1428. Is it right to take istikhārah more than once for the same issue?
A: Since istikhārah is sought as a means of removing the state of indecision, a goal that should have been achieved by the first one, there is no point in repeating the same. However, should the subject of istikhārah change, one can do istikhārah afresh.
Q1429. Sometimes a person comes by some leaflets containing some information about miracles of Imam Riḍā (a.s.). The publishers of such leaflets usually make a request that the reader makes more copies of them for distribution to other people and in so doing they would achieve what they aspire to. Is there any truth in this? And is it obligatory on the reader to comply with the request of the publishers?
A: There is no evidence in Islamic law that this has any weight. The reader has no obligation towards acceding to the publishers’ request.
Hoarding and Extravagance
Q1458. What are the things that are ḥarām to hoard? And do you authorize the imposition of financial penalties on hoarders?
A: According to transmitted traditions and the most famous view, things that are forbidden to be hoarded are confined to the four crops (wheat, barley, dates, and raisins) and animal / vegetable fat which are commonly used by different sections of the society. However, if the public interest necessitates, the Islamic state has the jurisdiction to ban the hoarding of all that the people need. There is no objection to imposing financial penalties on hoarders if the judge thinks fit.
Q1459. It is said that using up electricity more than one’s requirements is not considered extravagance. Is it true?
A: There is no doubt that consumption beyond one’s requirements is regarded as wastefulness, including the use of electric power. The truth is contained in the Prophetic tradition, "There should be no extravagance in good".
Miscellaneous Issues in Business
Q1596. If a finished product has been assembled, using different components then put for sale as the product of a particular foreign country, does this amount to cheating and deception? Assuming that it is, would the deal concluded between the seller and the buyer be valid in case the latter does not know about it?
A: Should the components or the very product be identifiable by the buyer, there is no case for swindling. However, promoting these products contrary to their nature amounts to lying and is, therefore, ḥarām. Should the sale be concluded, in that their description does not reflect reality, the deal is valid. But, if the purchaser discovered the truth about the goods, he has the right to revoke the sale agreement [and return the goods].
Q1597. Is it permissible for manufacturers and traders to label their products using a foreign language in order to attract the attention of potential buyers?
A: There is no harm in doing it provided that it is not designed to dupe the buyers, and that it is not considered propagating alien culture.
Q1598. What is the ruling in the matter of cheating, lying, and deception in dealing with non-Muslims with a view to benefiting financially or scientifically?
A: Lying, deception, and cheating in any sort of dealing, even if the other party is non-Muslim, are not permissible at all.
Q1599. What is the acceptable maximum margin of profit in trading?
A: There is no specific ceiling for that in itself. There is no harm in it provided that it does not lead to overcharging the buyer. However, it is preferable, if not mustaḥabb that the seller be satisfied with a margin of profit that is sufficient for his provisions.
Q1600. An owner of a source of water sold the same quantity/ quality of water to different buyers at different prices. Are we justified in complaining about the differential treatment?
A: If the vendor of water is the rightful owner or he has a right to it according to Islam, concluding separate deals with the buyers, the buyers have no right to object to the difference in the sale price.
Q1601. Can I resell the goods that I bought at a government-subsidized price for, say, three times the original price?
A: There is no harm in it provided that there is no official ban on doing so and the sale price is not exorbitant.
Q1602. I produce computer hardware. Am I justified in selling the products at the market price that is governed by the forces of offer and demand?
A: If the prices are not fixed by the government, there is no objection to selling goods at the price concluded between the vendor and the purchaser as long as it is not exorbitant.
Q1603. What is the Islamic ruling in the matter of capitalism? Is it permissible for a person to become ultra-rich provided that they meet their religious obligations, i.e., by paying the dues of the poor and the needy? Is the war waged by Islam against capitalism confined to the wealth of those people who do not pay khums and zakāt, or is it a total war? And is it feasible for anyone to be excessively rich, although they pay religious dues on their wealth?
A: The religious dues that should be payable by the wealthy are not confined to zakāt and khums only. Islam is not against the creation of wealth provided that it is earned through lawful means and that one should be committed to paying all religious dues. Investing such wealth should be in the interest of Islam and Muslims. Provided people adhere to those principles, there is no objection to their becoming wealthy in the process.
Q1604. Someone asking another to buy him a car is commonplace in this day and age. Upon buying the car, the second party asks the first one to top up the purchase price by a particular amount. This extra amount is in return for the effort and time the second party had put into shopping around and getting the best deal. Is such type of a transaction proper?
A: Should the second party act as agent in purchasing the car, it is not within his right to ask for an extra amount over and above the purchase price. That said, he has every right to ask for remuneration for acting as agent. If the second party buys the car with his own money and sells the same to the first party, he has the right to sell it for the price both the parties agree to. It is to be noted, though, that the second party must not lie about the actual purchase price. Yet, lying would not detract from the validity of the sale.
Q1605. Car mechanics and repairer men are approached by car dealers to do shoddy jobs, aiming to reduce the cost and be able to sell them at good prices. Are they justified in what they are doing?
A: It is not permissible if it leads to duping the potential buyer into not seeing the defects of the car.
Rules Concerning Ribā
Q1606. A driver was interested in buying a truck. He approached another person to give him the money. The driver bought the truck in his capacity as agent for the money owner. The latter sold the truck to the driver by installments. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: There is no harm in such a transaction if it was concluded on behalf of the owner of the money, who sold it [the truck] to the agent by installments. That said, both the parties should be serious in making the deal, i.e. their intention should not be to find a way out of ribā.
Q1607. What is ribā? And is the amount calculated as a percentage taken by the people who have deposits with the banks regarded as ribā?
A: As an expression, a ribā-bearing loan involves paying an extra amount by the borrower to the lender. The profits arising from the investment of the money deposited with a bank for safe keeping, which is used by the bank on behalf of the saver by virtue of an Islamic contract, is not considered ribā and, thus, is not problematic.
Q1608. What are the boundaries of ribā-based transactions? And is it true that ribā is confined to loans?
A: Ribā can arise from selling and buying in the same way it may arise from a loan. Ribā arising from a sale transaction is to sell an item — normally sold by weight/ volume — in exchange for something of the same category in Islamic law plus extra.
Q1609. In as much as it is lawful for a person, in an emergency, to eat the meat which is not ḥalāl, is it permissible for a person, in a similar situation, to deal in ribā-based transactions to make a living?
A: Ribā is ḥarām. Eating non-ḥalāl meat, in an emergency, is different because the person who is forced to eat the meat has no other source to continue to live.
Q1610. In the open market, postage stamps are sold for more than their nominal value. Is such sale valid?
A: There is no harm in it. Such an increase is not considered ribā. That is because usurious transaction is the one in which two things — normally sold by the weight / volume — are exchanged and one of them is more than the other. This kind of transaction is invalid.
Q1611. Is ribā ḥarām across the board, i.e. for all legal/personal entities, or are there special cases?
A: Generally speaking, ribā is ḥarām, except for a ribā-bearing loan between a father and his child, between a man and his wife, and that taken by a Muslim from a non-Muslim who is not dhimmī.
Q1612. A deal was concluded between two people at a given price. However, both parties agreed that the buyer should pay an extra amount over the specified price if he wrote a post-dated check. Is this permissible?
A: If the deal was concluded at a given price and the extra amount was for the delayed payment to settle the original amount, such an increase is ribā which is unlawful. Nor can it be ḥalāl because the parties agreed to it.
Q1613. Suppose a person is in need of a loan. They cannot get a ribā-free loan. Is it permissible for them to, for example, buy goods on credit and sell the same to the seller on the spot for a cash price that is less than the original price of the goods?
A: This type of transaction is nothing but a play to circumvent a ribā-based loan transaction. It is both ḥarām and invalid.
Q1614. In order to escape the involvement in a transaction that is based on ribā, and get returns for my money, I bought property for a particular price. The real value of the property was much higher. I agreed with the other party that if they changed their mind and wanted to withdraw from the deal within five months of the sale, they may do so provided that they return the money I parted with as a price for the property.
Having concluded the sale, I rented out the same property to the seller for a given rent. Four months later, I came across verdict by the late Imam Khomeini which makes such type of transactions unlawful. What is the ruling in your opinion?
A: If the two parties were not serious in the entire business, in that it was just a formality to allow the seller to get the loan and the buyer the returns on his money, such a transaction, which is to circumvent the issue of a ribā-bearing loan, is both ḥarām and invalid. In such transactions, the buyer has the right to retrieve only the original amount he paid as a price for the property.
Q1615. What is the ruling in the matter of adding an extra amount to the money with a view to avoiding the involvement in ribā taking?
A: It does not affect the ruling of a ribā-bearing loan. It is not going to be deemed ḥalāl by adding an extra amount to it.
Q1616. Is there any problem in receiving an old-age pension from the state, after years of contributions deducted from the wages of the employee during his long years of service? It is to be noted, however, that what the person receives as pension is not only the contributions he made during his service, rather an amount increased by way of government contribution.
A: There is no problem in receiving the pension. The extra amount paid by the government to the pensioner over and above what he has contributed is neither interest nor ribā.
Q1617. Some banks give some house owners a loan — named ju‘ālah — to refurbish their property. The recipient of the loan has to pay it back plus an extra, within a given period, by installments. Is such borrowing shar‘ī? And how can one call it ju‘ālah?
A: If the advance payment is made as a loan to the house owner for refurbishing his property, giving it the label of "ju‘ālah" does not make sense. It is, therefore, not permissible to pay back more than the actual amount of the loan, although in essence giving the loan is in order.
But, there is no objection if the house owner compensate [to make a compensation (ju‘l)] to the bank as the bank has refurbished his house. This compensation is not equal to what the bank has paid for the refurbishment but the whole amount the bank receives by installments in return for refurbishment.
Q1618. Is it permissible to buy goods by installments for a price that is higher than the cash price? And does this amount to ribā?
A: There is no objection to selling and buying goods by installments for more than the cash price. The difference is not considered ribā.
Q1619. A person sold some property by way of a revocable sale. However, he could not return the money to the buyer so that he could revoke the deal. A third person paid the money so that the seller could revoke the transaction on the condition that he would get his money back plus an extra amount in the form of a compensation for his work. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: There is no harm in what the third person did if he acted as an agent for the seller insofar as returning the money to the buyer and revoking the transaction are concerned. However, this should be done by lending the seller the amount to be returned to the buyer, then paying the same to the latter and revoking the transaction on behalf of the seller. There is also no harm in receiving the extra money for acting as an agent. However, if the amount the third person paid to the buyer had been in the form of giving a loan to the seller, he has no right to demand from the seller anything more than what he actually paid.
Right of Pre-emption
Q1620. When two persons share in an endowed property and one of them sells his share — in a case he is allowed to do that, does the other enjoy the right of pre-emption? If two people rent some property — whether or not it is an endowment, then one of them transfers his right to the other through either a rent or ṣulḥ contract, does the other have the right of pre-emption? To give an example, one of the partners sold his share to a third party where it is shar‘ī to do so. And is it permissible where renting is involved? To give an example, two people jointly rented some property or an endowment. Is it permissible for either party to transfer their share by way of sub-letting the property to a third party?
A: Pre-emption is confined to the partnership in things themselves [not in using something as in the rent] if it is shar‘ī for one of the two partners to sell his share to a third party. Therefore, there is no right of pre-emption in an endowed property in which two people share even on the assumption that one of the two parties is allowed to sell his share to a third party. Nor is there such right in situations where some property was rented out to two people and one of tenants transfers his share to a third party.
Q1621. From Islamic texts one can deduce that pre-emption is a means for either party of a partnership to sell their share to a third party. Accordingly, could the encouragement, by one of the parties, of a potential buyer to buy the share of the other partner, making it known in the process that he is not going to exercise pre-emption if the third party bought the share of his partner, be considered a relinquishment of pre-emption?
A: The initiative taken by the partner to encourage the third party to buy the share of the other partner per se does not run counter to exercising pre-emption. Indeed, even his promise of not exercising it, by virtue of the transaction of sale between him [the third party] and his partner, does not necessarily take away pre-emption, after the transaction has gone through.
Q1622. Is dropping pre-emption right before one of the partners sells his share to a third party, perceived as unlawful?
A: Forgoing pre-emption is not valid unless it actually takes place, i.e. by the partner selling his share to a third party. However, there is no objection to the partner’s giving an undertaking in an Islamically binding contract that he is not going to resort to pre-emption when his partner sells his share.
Q1623. A person rented one floor of a two-storey building. The property is owned by two brothers who are indebted to the tenant for a sum of money. Despite repeated requests by the creditor, the two brothers have been avoiding payment of the debt for the past two years. He concluded that it is within his right to retrieve his money by deducting it from the rent. The value of the property is higher than the value of debt. He assumed in so doing he became a partner in the property of the two brothers. Can he exercise pre-emption on the rest of the property?
A: As the question goes, there is no case for pre-emption. Pre-emption can be exercised by one of two partners who sold his share to a third person provided that the intention to sell was there. It cannot be acquired as a result of becoming a partner by virtue of buying the share of one of the partners or owning it as a result of settling a debt. Furthermore, pre-emption cannot be activated unless one of the two parties sells his share. That is, in property owned jointly by two people only.
Q1624. Two people jointly bought some property whereby it was officially registered in their names. However, in a separate contract, they partitioned the property into two, each with its own boundaries. Has either party the right to exercise pre-emption over the property of the other partner, in the event of sale, by virtue of having an official document pointing to the joint ownership of the property?
A: If the sold share, at the time of sale, was clearly defined and demarcated as an independent one, the mere fact they are neighbors, it was one single property before, or they have only one legal document does not bring about the right of pre-emption.
Q1668. Is it permissible for a person, who has no funds in the bank, to write a check with a view to standing surety for someone else?
A: There is no objection to doing so. The validity of a surety deed and giving a check as a surety does not depend on having a positive bank balance at the time of standing surety and making out the check.
Q1669. I lent someone a sum of money, which he did not pay back. A relative of his wrote me a post-dated check for the amount of the debt provided that I allow him some time [to settle the debt]. Thus, he undertook to pay me back the debt if the original debtor defaulted. The debtor ran away without leaving a trace, so much so that I lost every contact with him. Is it shar‘ī that I get back the whole amount of debt from the surety?
A: If the person stood as surety in a shar‘ī way, should the debtor default, you are permitted, after the date of repayment has passed, to demand the repayment of the whole amount of the debt.
Pawning and Mortgaging
Q1670. The owner of a mortgaged property died and left behind minor children. The loan was not fully paid. The lender repossessed the property, which is worth much more than the outstanding amount of the loan. How should the extra amount [from the proceeds of selling the property] be treated? And how should the minor children restore their right?
A: Where it is possible for the mortgagee (lender) to sell the property to get his money back, the property should be sold for the highest price possible. If the property has fetched more than the amount of debt, the lender can take what is his and pay the remainder to the rightful owners. As the question goes, the surplus amount should go to the inheritors.
Q1671. A mukallaf borrowed a sum of money from a person, and undertook to pay it back within a specified period of time in return for mortgaging his property. Having done that, the owner rented the same property from the person for a given rent and a particular period. Is it permissible for him to do so?
A: There is a problem in renting some property to its owner. Furthermore, this type of transaction is nothing but a ploy to circumvent the involvement in a ribā-bearing loan transaction that is both ḥarām and invalid.
Q1672. A person mortgaged a plot of land to another in return for a loan. The situation continued for forty years during which both parties died. Now, the heirs of the landlord are demanding from their counterparts to return the land to them. They refused to agree to their request, claiming that they inherited the land from their father. Can the heirs of the landlord restore their right in the land?
A: If it is proved that the mortgagee who kept the land as collateral for the loan had the right of possessing the land in settlement of the loan, that the value of the land was either equivalent to, or less than, the amount of debt, and that it was at his disposal until he passed away, it is apparent that the land is his.
Accordingly, after his death, it should become part of his estate, where the inheritors have a right to it. If this is not the case, the land should revert to the ownership of the inheritors of the mortgagor. Thus, they should have the right to get it back. They are required, though, to pay back the money their father owes to the heirs of the mortgagee.
Q1673. Is it permissible for a person who rented some property to mortgage it with a third party, or is it a condition, in order for the transaction to be valid, that the property belongs to the mortgagor?
A: There is no objection to that provided that the landlord has authorized the tenant to mortgage the property.
Q1674. I mortgaged some property to another person as collateral for the debt I owed him. In the contract, we agreed that the period of the mortgage is one year. However, I verbally promised to let him have the right of disposal in the property for three years. Which of the two is valid, i.e. the written agreement or the verbal pledge? Assuming that the transaction is not valid, what would the position of the two parties be?
A: As far as the period of the mortgage is concerned, the written paper, promise, and the like are of no consequence. The yardstick is the loan contract. If it was for a given a period, it lapses by the end of the appointed period. If not, it remains effective until the debt is settled or the mortgagee releases the mortgagor from the debt. If the mortgage is done with, or the contract proved to be lacking to start with, it is permissible for the mortgagor to ask from the mortgagee to give him back his property. For his part, the latter should have no right to refuse to return the property and to consider it as a valid mortgage.
Q1675. My father pawned a piece of jewelry with a pawnbroker in return for a loan. Shortly before his death, my father gave permission to the pawnbroker to sell the pawn in settlement of a debt. However, the pawnbroker was not aware of this permission. I offered to pay the money back in return for the pawn. My intention was not to repay the debt, rather to get the piece of jewelry back and pawn it with another person. The pawnbroker refused to accept my protestation unless all the heirs agree to the proposal. Some of the heirs did not consent to the proposed course of action. When I approached him again with the money, [he received it, yet] declined to hand me back the pawn, claiming that it is within his right to keep it in settlement of the debt.
Is it permissible for the pawnbroker to refuse to return the pawn after he got his money back? Has he the right to refuse to return to me the money I gave him, under the pretext that it was in settlement of the debt? And is he justified in making the return of the pawn dependent on the agreement of all the heirs?
A: If paying back the money to the pawnbroker was intended to settle the debt the deceased owes the broker, the deceased would be absolved of the responsibility of the debt and the pawn retained by the broker for safekeeping. However, since the heirs now jointly own the pawn, the pawnbroker cannot return it to some of them unless they all agree to it.
If the money given to the pawnbroker was not intended to pay back the debt owed by the deceased, as it is understood from the broker’s admission, he is not justified in retaining the money under the pretext that it was in settlement of the debt. It is obligatory on him to pay the person, who gave him the money, his money back, especially after he has demanded that. In the meantime, the piece of jewelry should remain pawned with the broker until the heirs come up with the money to settle the debt of the deceased and release the pawn, or give permission to the pawnbroker to sell the pawn to recover his debt.
Q1676. Can a mortgagor mortgage the collateral to another pawnbroker before the first one is terminated?
A: As long as the first contract is not terminated, the second mortgage is suspended without the permission of the first mortgagee and becomes valid only if he authorizes it.
Q1677. A person pawned his land with someone as a surety for a loan he was supposed to give him. After getting hold of the land, the pawnbroker apologized for not having the money the landlord asked for. However, they settled for ten sheep to be given to the landlord instead of the money. Now, the mortgagor wants to get his land back by paying the debt to the broker. The broker is insisting on getting repaid in kind, i.e. the same ten sheep he gave the owner of the land when they concluded the deal. Is what he is demanding shar‘ī?
A: Mortgage is for something already loaned not for a future debt/loan. According to the question, the land and the sheep should be returned to their owners.
Q1678. I contributed to the capital of a company and appointed the owner of the company as my agent in so far as the investment is concerned provided that he pays me a fixed monthly sum of money. A year later, I settled for a plot of land he gave me in return for the money I put into the company and the profits thereof. Is this shar‘ī?
A: As you invested in the company and authorized him to deal with it, there is no objection to receiving ḥalāl proceeds.
Q1679. A number of people bought an object collectively. They agreed between themselves to draw a lot to determine the owner. What is the ruling?
A: If the intention behind the draw is granting each individual’s share in the object to the person who wins it, there is no harm in it. Yet, if the intention is transferring the joint ownership to the person who wins the lottery per se or their intention is mainly wining and losing, it is not shar‘ī.
Q1680. Two people jointly bought a plot of land. They have been cultivating the land for some twenty years. One of the partners sold his share to a third party. Has he the right to do so? If he refuses to sell his share to his partner, can the latter do anything about it?
A: The partner has no right to force the other partner to sell him his share. Nor has he the right to object to the partner’s selling his own share to another party. However, he can resort to pre-emption, provided that the prerequisites are available and the transaction is concluded.
Q1681. What is the ruling in the matter of dealing in shares in the stock exchange? It is to be noted, however, that the share itself is subject to the deal, rather than the capital of the company and that the price of the shares might go up as well as down. And what is the view if the activities of some companies are either ribā-based or doubtful?
A: If the value of the shares of a company or a bank is based on the shares themselves and their credit was issued by an authorized person, there is no objection to buying and selling them.
If the value of the shares is regarded as the value of the entire plant, mill, company, or bank as the capital thereof, in that each share constitutes part of the capital, there is no objection to buying and selling such shares provided that the total number of shares is known, besides other information with a view to avoiding any risk that could be thus perceived in the common view.
Q1682. As a result of a disagreement between the three of us, we decided to sell the poultry business we own as partners at auction. One of us won the bidding. Ever since, he has been procrastinating with regard to paying us our money. Can this transaction still be deemed shar‘ī?
A: Getting the auction underway and tendering a higher price by one of the partners, or any other party for that matter, is not sufficient to complete the sale and own the business. Therefore, if the sale of shares has not been concluded properly and in a shar‘ī way, the partnership should remain intact. However, if the sale has gone through in a proper manner, the delay in paying the price for the business by the buyer should not render the sale transaction invalid.
Q1683. A group of people set up a company by way of partnership. The company was officially registered with the authorities. However, I relinquished my share in favor of another person who bought it from me. He paid me the price by five checks which bounced. When I approached the buyer, he took the checks from me and restored my share in the company, but he remained officially the stockholder. It transpired that he sold the share to another party. Has he the right to do so? And do I have the right to demand the restoration of my stake in the company?
A: If the buyer, who revoked this sale after he had got his checks back, sold the share to a third party before the cancellation, this sale is valid. If he had sold the share after the cancellation, this sale cannot go through unless you sanction it.
Q1684. Two brothers inherited a house from their father. They couldn’t reach a settlement as how to divide the inheritance. The case was submitted to the court to decide it. The court consulted an expert, who advised that the property couldn’t be divided and that it would be mustaḥabb for either of them to sell his share to the other or for the house as a whole to be sold to a third party. Accordingly, the property was sold at auction and the proceeds given to the two brothers. Is this sale shar‘ī and can the two brothers receive their respective share of the proceeds?
A: There is no problem in that.
Q1685. One of the partners of a company bought some property with the company’s money and registered it in the name of his wife. Who has ownership of the property? And is the wife legally bound to register the property in the name of the partners, even though her husband will not let her do it?
A: If the husband [partner] bought the property for himself or his wife on credit, then paid for it with money from the company, the property is his and his wife’s. However, he becomes indebted to the rest of the partners insofar as their shares are concerned. If he exchanged it with the very company’s money, the [validity of the] transaction proportionately hinges on the consent of the other partners.
Q1686. Is it permissible for some of the inheritors, or their agent, to have the right of disposal, in any way, in the estate that is still jointly owned by the heirs without the agreement of the rest of the heirs?
A: It is not permissible for any of the partners to have the right of disposal in a jointly owned property without the agreement of all the heirs. Nor is it permissible for any one of them to engage in any transaction concerning the property unless they secure the permission of all the partners.
Q1687. Some partners in a jointly owned property sold it without securing the agreement of all the shareholders. Is the sale valid and, therefore, binding on the other shareholders to agree to it, albeit they are not happy with the deal? And should the agreement of all partners be a condition? Does it matter whether the company was a commercial enterprise or a civil one, in that agreement must be secured for the latter and not the former?
A: This sale is valid and, therefore, enforceable insofar as the share owned by the party who sold it or gave permission to sell it. As for the remaining shares, this is dependent on their respective permissions, irrespective of how the company came into being.
Q1688. A person took a loan from the bank and built a house. The property was insured. After part of the property was damaged due to flooding, the bank does not want to admit liability. For its part, the insurance company says that the damage cannot be covered because it falls outside the terms of the insurance policy. Whose responsibility is it then?
A: The insurance company cannot indemnify for the damage because it falls outside the remit of the policy. The cost of repairing the property, and indemnifying for any loss which is not the responsibility of others, should be borne by the owner. As for the bank, if it is a civil partner in the property, it should bear a share of the cost of repair proportionate to its stake unless the damage occurred due to somebody’s default.
Q1689. Three people jointly bought a string of business properties. One of the partners refused to agree with the other two partners to be part of any business conducted therein, to sell, or to rent them out. Is it permissible for any partner: (a) to sell or lease his share without the permission of the other two partners? (b) to occupy the property without the permission of the other two partners?, and (c) to pick and choose any property for himself and leave the rest for others?
1. It is permissible for any partner to sell his own share without any need to obtain the permission of the other partners.
2. It is not permissible for any partner to occupy a jointly owned property unless he secures the permission of the other partners.
3. It is not permissible for any partner to choose his own share of the jointly owned property without the permission of the other partners.
Q1690. A group of people wants to build a ḥusayniyyah on a green piece of land. Those who have a stake in the land do not agree to the project. What is the ruling in the matter, especially when there is a possibility that the land could be anfāl or a public facility?
A: If the land is a common property, any involvement in it hinges upon consent of all those who have a vested interest in it. If it is anfāl, the decision concerning it should be left to the Islamic state. It is not permissible to have any involvement in the property without the government permitting it. If it is a public utility, the same ruling is applicable.
Q1691. A number of people inherited an orchard. One of the inheritors refuses to sell his share. Is it permissible for the other shareholders, or a government department, to force him to do so?
A: Neither the other partners nor anyone else can coerce the partner to sell his share, especially where partitioning is possible. In this case, each of the partners can demand from the others to partition their share unless the law of the Islamic government does not permit the partitioning of the plantation. Such legal requirements have to be respected.
If the jointly possessed property cannot be demarcated, any partner can have recourse to the authorized religious authority to force the unwilling party to sell their share or buy the shares of the other partners.
Q1692. Four brothers live of a jointly owned property. Two of them got married and undertook that each would be responsible for bringing one of the younger brothers up and bearing the expenses arising from his marriage. However, neither kept his pledge. The younger brothers now want to have their share of the property and live independently. How should they go about distributing the possessions between themselves?
A: The elder brothers should compensate any amounts that have been spent of the jointly owned property, which the other brothers did not equally spend. They [i.e. the younger brothers] have the right to demand compensation. Then the remaining amount of the jointly owned property should be distributed equally among all the brothers.
Another way of distribution would be that each of those brothers, who have spent less than the others, should take an equal share of the property to be put on a par with those who have enjoyed spending of the jointly owned property. Once this is done, the remaining amount should be distributed equally between them.
Q1693. The tea company in the country has a policy of forcing retailers to become members in the company. Has the company the right to do so? And is such membership valid?
A: Should the company offer the members facilities and services and give them tea provided that they are its members and deal only with it, there is no objection to that. Nor is there any harm in such membership.
Q1694. Is it permissible for the management of a company to spend its profits in charity without seeking the permission of the shareholders?
A: Making a decision about dividends rests with the shareholder himself. Thus, if someone else spends the dividends without either power of attorney or permission from the shareholder, he should be held responsible to compensate the shareholder, even though the income is spent in charitable causes.
Q1695. Three people set up a joint business venture. One of them contributed half of the capital and the other two a quarter each. They agreed that the profits should be distributed between them each according to their shares. The two partners, who contributed a quarter each of the capital, run the business full-time, whereas the partner, who owns half of the company’s capital, seldom works. Is this partnership valid?
A: For shareholders, it is not necessary to have equal shares in the investments. However, there is no objection to distributing the profits equally between the partners, regardless of the percentage of their respective shares in the company. As regards running the business, each of them will be renumerated for his work if nothing is stipulated in the contract in this regard.
Q1696. Both the public and the private sectors jointly own a company. The shareholders appointed the management team. Is it permissible for the company staff to use the company cars for their personal business?
A: Using the transport means and other company property in non-company business is dependent on the permission of the shareholders or their official agents.
Q1697. According to the company charter, a committee, whose responsibility is to settle disputes, has to be set up. The committee cannot be set up because 51% of the shareholders have forgone their rights. Is it obligatory on those shareholders who have relinquished their rights to demand the formation of the committee so that the rights of the existing shareholders are upheld?
A: If the members — as required by the company charter — undertook to form the arbitration committee when it is necessary to do so, they have to abide by their undertaking. The issue of some shareholders relinquishing their rights should not be taken as a pretext for not honoring the pledge concerning the setting up of the arbitration committee.
Q1698. Two people set up a company. Both of them had a stake in the business to meet the setting-up cost including sarqoflī that had been paid for the property. One of the two partners left the business, taking with him his share of the capital. The other partner has continued running the business. The partner who opted out is claiming that he should be given a share of the transactions concluded by the existing partner. What is the ruling in the matter?
A: In itself, partaking in the ownership and sarqoflī of a commercial place is not sufficient for having a part in the [actual] trading and getting a share of the profits. The yardstick is to have a share in the running capital. Accordingly, if the continuation of one of the partners in running the business has occurred after they decided to divide the jointly owned capital in a proper way so much so that one of them took away his share, the latter should have no right in the transactions his [former] partner has concluded. However, should there be any transactions before the actual breaking up of the company, the partner has a right in the commercial activity of his partner in a measure equivalent to his stake of the capital.
Q1699. Is it permissible for me to deny my sister the right to take away her share in the company for fear that she might use the funds she will acquire in projects that serve to spread un-Islamic practices?
A: No partner has the right to prevent any of the other partners from getting their share and also it is not permissible to deprive them of access to their property fearing that they might use their property in the avenues of evil, disobedience, and other unlawful activity. The partners must accede to the request of any partner wanting to break ranks. It is to be noted, however, that the partners who want to go it alone should be mindful of their duty as not to utilize their property in bankrolling forbidden activities. For their part, the other partners should forbid them from evil if they use their property in any avenue that is deemed ḥarām.
Presents and Gifts
Q1700. Is it shar‘ī to use a present given by a minor orphan?
A: It hinges upon the permission of his shar‘ī guardian.
Q1701. Two brothers jointly own a plot of land. One of them gave his share by way of gift to his nephew who took possession of it. Is it permissible for the heirs of the gift giver to lay claim to the property, considering it part of the estate of their father?
A: If it is proved that the deceased gave his share in the land to his nephew as a gift, and that he handed it over to him, leaving it at his disposal, the inheritors should have no right in it.
Q1702. A person built a house for his father on land that belonged to the latter. With the permission of the father, he built another storey on top of the house for himself. Both the father and the son died. There is neither evidence nor a will that could lead to proving its owner. How could this issue be resolved?
A: If the son had paid all expenditure arising from the building of the second storey, which was at his disposal and remained so throughout his lifetime, it should be his and part of his estate after his death according to shar‘. Accordingly, it is transferred to his inheritors.
Q1703. Before his death, my father officially registered some property in my name when I was eleven years old. A plot of land and half of another property were registered in the name of my brother; the other half of the property was registered in the name of my mother. Now, the rest of the heirs are laying a claim to my property, alleging that it is not mine by shar‘, whereas they recognize the ownership of the land and the properties of my brother and mother. My father did not leave a will, nor is there a witness. What is your view?
A: During his lifetime, whatever the father had given by way of gift to some inheritors, who took possession of it in a proper manner, so much so that he transferred it into their respective names, that gift is the recipient’s by shar‘. Therefore, the other heirs have no right to claim it for themselves unless it is proved in a reliable way that the father did not grant his son the [disputed] property and that the registration of the official document in his name was not accompanied by any real intention to transfer it to him.
Q1704. During his lifetime, my husband built a house. I contributed to the completion of the building by donating my labor which had resulted in saving on building costs. He told me many times that I was his partner in the property and that he would register a share equivalent to two sixths of the house in my name. Unfortunately, he died before he could conclude the registration. I do not have any written document like a will to substantiate my claim. What should I do?
A: Helping in building the house and promising a share in the property does not amount to becoming a partner in the ownership of the property. So unless it is proved beyond doubt that your husband had given you a share during his lifetime, you have no right in the property.
Q1705. While enjoying full mental capacity, my husband called in the bank manager and gave me, by way of gift, all the money in his account. This has been done with his own signature on the papers in the presence of the bank manager to the effect of giving me the right of withdrawal. Accordingly, the bank provided me with a check book which I used to withdraw money from the account. A month and a half later, his son accompanied him to the bank. When he was asked whether the money in the account was his wife’s, he nodded, "Yes". When he was asked another question as to whether the money was his sons’, he nodded, indicating the affirmative. It is worth mentioning, though, that he was not mentally well then. Does the money belong to me or to my stepsons?
A: Since taking possession of the thing given by way of gift is a condition to owning it, and the transfer of the money in the bank by way of signature and issuing a check book cannot be regarded as sound, the said grant cannot be deemed shar‘ī. However, what you have withdrawn of money, while your husband was mentally well, is rightfully yours. Your husband’s remaining money in the bank should be part of his estate. Therefore, it has been transferred to his inheritors, on his death. Furthermore, his undertaking, while in a diminished mental capacity, is of no consequence.
Q1706. Are the things bought for a mother by her children during her lifetime considered part of the estate after her death?
A: If the things, bought by the children for their mother, have been given to her by way of gift and put at her disposal, they are rightfully hers and, therefore, regarded as part of her estate after her death.
Q1707. Are the items of jewelry, bought by a husband for his wife, considered part of his estate after his death so that they can be distributed amongst his heirs, including his wife?
A: If the items of jewelry have been at the disposal of the wife, so much so that she does with them as though she were the owner, they are rightfully hers unless it is proved otherwise.
Q1708. Do the presents, given to the husband and his wife during their married life, belong to the wife, the husband, or both of them?
A: It depends on the type and nature of the present itself, on whether it is exclusive to men, women, or is for both of them. So, that which is destined for the husband or the wife should be exclusively his/hers. That which is apparently destined for both of them should be jointly owned.
Q1709. In the event of divorce, is it permissible for the wife to take away the things, such as linen, carpets, and clothes, which she brought with her from her parents’ home?
A: Things that the wife brought with her from her parents’ home, that she bought for herself, or that were given to her as a present are rightfully hers. It is within her right to demand that it be given back to her if they are still available. She has no right, though, to demand from the husband to return to her the things which have been given as gifts to the husband by the family or relatives of the wife. If they exist, the granter of the gifts should decide. That is, it is within the granter’s jurisdiction to revoke the gift transaction and take it back provided that the husband is not a blood relative of the granter.
Q1710. After I divorced my wife, I took away all the jewelry, make-up, and other things which I bought her during our married life. Have I the right to do with them whatever I like?
A: If you gave them to your [ex-] wife, by way of loan or gift provided that it is still in its pristine condition, and that she is not among your blood relatives, you can cancel the gift transaction, retrieve the property, and use it. Otherwise, it is not permissible.
Q1711. My father gave me a plot of land by way of gift. The title deed of the land is officially in my name. A year later, he regretted his decision. Is it permissible for me to make use of the land?
A: If your father changed his mind and revoked the gift deed after you received the land and occupied it, the land is yours by shar‘. Your father has not right to demand it back. And if he had second thoughts before you took possession of the land, he has the right to rescind the gift. If this is the case, you do not have any right to the land. Registering the land in your name is not sufficient for actually taking hold of the gift which is necessary in a gift deed.
Q1712. I gave a person a plot of land by way of gift. He built a house on part of the land. Is it permissible for me to ask him to give me back what I gave him, or compensate me, or return to me what’s left unbuilt of the land?
A: After the recipient has taken possession of the land with your permission and has practically occupied it by building a house, you have no right of revoking the gift. Nor have you the right to get back the land or the price thereof. And if the house was built on a part of the land, nevertheless due to proportionate area of the land it is considered by common view that he took the whole land, you are not entitled to claim back any part thereof.
Q1713. Is it permissible for a person to give all his property to one of his sons to the exclusion of the others?
A: Should this result in creating discord and strife between the offspring, it is not permissible.
Q1714. A person gifted his property to five people in return for something else. The gift deed stipulates that they build a ḥusayniyyah to be used for this purpose for ten years after the building has been completed. Should they wish to treat it as endowment after that, they may do so. They built the ḥusayniyyah with the help of the public. In the endowment deed, they gave themselves wide-ranging powers, including the appointment of the trustees of the endowment. Is it incumbent on the others to abide by their decision as to the choosing of the person who should take overall charge of the trust? Is there any legal obstacle to non-compliance with the provisions in the endowment deed? And what would the position be if one of the five-member committee goes against endowing the ḥusayniyyah?
A: They have to abide by the conditions laid down by the benefactor in the gift deed. If they do not follow the conditions he laid down regarding ḥabs or endowment, the gift giver or his heirs have the right to rescind the gift. And as far as the conditions they laid down in the endowment deed are concerned, such as the right to appoint the general supervisor, if the five-member body were acting according to the authority vested in them by the gift giver himself, these conditions have to be adhered to and acted upon. Should some members of the committee refuse to declare the ḥusayniyyah an endowment, the other members should toe the line provided that according to the gift giver a unanimous vote for rendering it as endowment is necessary.
Q1715. A person gave one third of his house to his wife by way of gift. A year later, he leased the entire property to someone for fifteen years. After a while, he passed away without leaving behind any children. Are both the gift and the lease valid? If the deceased was in debt, is it going to be paid off from the entire property or from the two-thirds and the remainder distributed according to inheritance law? Should the creditors wait until the expiry of the lease?
A: If the donor let her take possession of part of the house she owned — albeit while making use of the entire house — before leasing it to the third party provided that she was among his blood relatives or the gift was in return for something else, it is valid and, therefore, enforceable as described [i.e. concerning the part of the house]. However, the lease is valid in so far as the remaining part of the property is concerned.
Conversely, the lease, coming hard on the heels of the gift, would invalidate the gift. In this case, only the lease deed concluded after the gift is valid. As for the debt of the deceased, it should be settled from the property he owned at the time of his death. What he leased during his lifetime, the lease holder has the right to make use of throughout the period of the lease. While the house itself would be part of his estate that could be used to pay off his debts and the remainder falls to the inheritors, but they cannot use the leased property until the end of the lease.
Q1716. A person directed in his will that all his immovable property should be given to one of his sons provided that the son pays him and the members of his family a certain amount of rice each year in return. A year later the father gave the son the said property by way of gift. Would the provision, regarding the transfer of the property, made in the will remain valid because it preceded the gift and, therefore, enforceable in one third, in which case the remaining two-thirds would be rendered part of the estate, i.e. after the death of the giver? Or could it be the case that it is deemed invalid because it was superseded by the gift? It is noteworthy that the property is now under the control of the son.
A: If the gift was given to the person, with the permission of the granter during his lifetime, so much so that the recipient took possession of the gift and went about handling it as though he was the owner, this would have been bound to render the will invalid because it would have been deemed a revocation of the will. That is, the property given to the intended person should have been rightfully his, i.e. the other inheritors have no right in it. Otherwise, the will would remain valid unless it is proved that the testator had changed his mind about it.
Q1717. Is it permissible for an inheritor, who donated his share in the inheritance to his brothers, to claim it back from them after several years? And what is the opinion if they refuse to give in to his demand?
A: It is not permissible for him to do that if he has already handed it over to them, and they took possession of it through which the transaction was concluded. However, if this has not been the case, i.e., before any transfer and receipt of the property, he is entitled to revoke the gift.
Q1718. One of my brothers gave me, by way of gift, a part of his share in our inheritance. He retracted his decision before the estate was divided among the inheritors. What is the ruling in the matter?
A: If he had changed his mind before you received what he granted of his share in the inheritance, his action should be deemed shar‘ī. Accordingly, you have no right in his share. However, if he changed his mind after your receiving what he had given you, he cannot revoke his decision, and, therefore, has no right to the gift.
Q1719. A woman gave her land away by way of gift to a person, on the condition that he would perform hajj for her, in the belief that hajj was incumbent on her despite the fact that her relatives didn’t agree with her analysis. Then, she granted the same land to one of her grand children, and passed away a week later. Which of the two donations is valid? And what would the position of the first person, who was granted the land insofar as the performance of hajj is concerned, be?
A: If the first person was among the woman’s blood relatives and took possession of the land with her permission, the first gift deed is valid and, therefore, binding. It is incumbent on the person to perform hajj on her behalf. As regards the second gift deed, it is dependent on his agreement.
If the first person was not among the woman’s blood relatives or did not take possession of the land, the second gift deed would be considered a revocation of the first one. Therefore, it is deemed valid, rendering the first one invalid. Accordingly, the first person has no right in the land and is, therefore, not required to perform hajj for the woman.
Q1720. Can someone give his right to another one as a gift before he is entitled to such a right? At the time of the marriage contract, a woman forwent all the financial obligations that may become due to her by her husband. Is such a transaction valid?
A: There is a problem in, if not an objection to, such a type of grant. There is no harm if this foregoing of the wife’s future rights is considered as a ṣulḥ contract or as a term stipulated in the contract that she would relinquish the rights after being entitled to them. Otherwise, it is of no effect.
Q1721. What is the ruling in the matter of exchanging presents with non-Muslims?
A: There is no objection to it in itself.
Q1722. A person gave his grandchild all his property during his lifetime. Does this gift cover all that he left, so much so that one cannot spend of it for his funeral?
A: If the grandchild took possession of the property later during the life time of the grandfather with his permission, the gift deed is effective regarding all gifts he took possession of.
Q1723. Are the things given to people who were wounded or maimed in the war, considered as gifts?
A: Yes, they are, save that which is paid to them as wages for their work, which is compensation of their work.
Q1724. To whom does the ownership of the presents given to the families of martyrs belong, i.e. to the heirs or their guardian?
A: It [the present] belongs to the person it was given to as intended by the giver.
Q1725. Some companies and other quarters, be they national or international give gifts to agents or middlemen when concluding commercial deals of any sort. Since this may make the recipient lean toward favoring the donor, is it permissible to accept and have ownership of such presents?
A: It is not permissible for the agent or the middleman in a sale, purchase, or a contract to accept any presents from the other party of the deal.
Q1726. Suppose a company gave a present, in exchange for another one which was presented to them and paid for by public funds. What is the ruling?
A: Should the present have been given in return for another one paid for by public money, it should be deposited in the public coffers.
Q1727. Should the present leave an adverse impact on the recipient, especially when security matters are concerned, is it permissible to accept and use it in any way?
A: It is not permissible to have such a present. Rather, one must decline to accept it.
Q1728. Should there be any doubt that the present to be given to someone is intended to be used as a carrot to curry favor with them and make them blow trumpets in his praise, is it permissible to take it?
A: If the intended publicity is in accordance with the law and shar‘, there is no objection to it and there is no harm in accepting the present in return for making the publicity. Of course, in office environments the related rules should be observed if any.
Q1729. If a present is intended to influence the recipient and make them turn a blind eye to an offence or curry favor with the official to approve of certain practices, is it permissible to take it?
A: To say that it is permissible to accept such a present is problematic if not prohibited. Generally speaking, it is not permissible to accept the present, rather it is obligatory to turn it down if it is geared to achieving that which is not shar‘ī or legal, or to curry favor with the official to make him agree to do that which he is not entitled to. The officials should take necessary steps to stem such a practice.
Q1730. During his lifetime; is it permissible for the paternal grandfather to give all his property, or part thereof, to his son’s children and his daughter-in-law? Have his daughters the right to object to his decision?
A: It is permissible for him, in his lifetime, to grant his son’s children or daughter-in-law all his property or part thereof. His daughters have no right to object to that.
Q1731. A childless person, who does not have any parent’s brother or sister, wants to give away his property by way of gift to his wife or her relatives. Is it permissible for him to do that? If so, is there a particular amount of his property that he could part with?
A: There is no objection to the property owner’s giving away as a gift either all his property or part thereof during his lifetime to whomever he wished whether or not they are his would be heirs.
Q1732. The establishment looking after the affairs of martyrs gave a grant to the family of a martyr (my son) to meet the expenses of holding a memorial service for him. If I accept it, would this make me sinful or detract from the Allah’s reward to the martyr?
A: There is no harm in accepting these grants. It should not detract from reward of the martyr or his family.
Q1733. A hotel staff set up a joint fund to collect all the tips the guests give them. They agreed to distribute the income equally between themselves. However, some senior members of the staff have requested that they be given a bigger share. Naturally, this is bound to create some friction between members of the group. What is your opinion?
A: This is a matter for the person who gave the tip. That is, if he gave it to a particular person, it should be that person’s alone. And if the tip was for all members of the staff, it should be divided equally between them.
Q1734. Do the presents, including money given to the children, belong to them or their parents?
A: If the father, on behalf of the child, receives it, it is the child’s.
Q1735. A mother, who has two daughters, wants to give her grandchild — to the exclusion of her second daughter — a piece of arable land she owns. Has she the right to do that? And has the second daughter the right to demand a share of her mother’s estate after her death?
A: If the mother gave away the property to her grandchild in her lifetime so much so that the grandchild took possession of the granted property, it is rightfully his and no one else has the right to object to that. However, if she has instructed in her will that the property be given to her grandchild, after her death, this should be confined to one-third of the estate. Adding the remaining two-thirds to the grandchild’s share is dependent on the consent of the heirs.
Q1736. A person gave part of his land to his nephew on the condition that the recipient marries his two stepdaughters to the donor’s two sons. The recipient refused to honor his undertaking regarding the marriage arrangements of the second stepdaughter. Can the gift still be valid and binding?
A: The said gift deed is both valid and binding. However, the condition laid down is invalid because the stepfather has no jurisdiction over the marriage of his stepdaughters. The matter is entirely theirs if they have no father or paternal grandfather. That said, if the condition required the stepfather to do his best to persuade his stepdaughters to agree to the marriage, the condition is valid and, therefore, binding. If the recipient did not uphold the condition, the donor has the right to annul the gift deed.
Q1737. I transferred the ownership of my residential flat to my younger daughter. After I divorced her mother, I reconsidered the matter and transferred the same property to my son from a second marriage before my daughter attained the age of eighteen years. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: If you had given away the property to your daughter, and took possession of it on her behalf as her guardian, the gift is valid, binding, and irrevocable. Yet, if the gift deed was not really concluded, but was merely the change of the name in the title deed of the property to that of your daughter’s, this is not sufficient to conclude the gift deed and transfer the ownership to her. Indeed, the property is yours and you can do with it whatever you like.
Q1738. When I was very ill, I distributed my property among my offspring and put everything in writing. However, after I had recovered, I demanded that they return to me some of the property I gave them. They declined. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: Writing a document is not a sufficient proof of ownership of the property by your sons and daughters. That said, if you had given them the property and they took possession of and control over it, it is rightfully theirs; you have no right to demand it back. But, if there was no gift involved at the outset, or they had not yet taken possession of it, the property should remain in your ownership and at your disposal.
Q1739. A person donated all his possessions inside his house to his wife. Among them was a book he wrote. Has the wife the copyright of the book or should it be the common ownership of all the inheritors?
A: The copyright of the book belongs to the person who owns it. So, if the author, during his lifetime, gave the book to someone or directed in his will that it would be his and the intended person took possession of the book, all rights concerning the book belong to him.
Q1740. From time to time, some government departments give their employees gifts. Since the source of funding for these gifts is not known, is it permissible for the employees to accept them and eventually have the right to use them?
A: There is no objection to giving gifts that have been funded by public money provided that the official who is giving these gifts is authorized to do so. And if the recipient thinks it is possible to a considerable extent that the donor has such authority, there is no harm in accepting the gift from them.
Q1741. For the gift deed to be valid, is taking possession of it sufficient, or does it have to be registered in the name of the intended person, especially in things like land and property?
A: What is really meant by the “taking possession of it” is not putting the matter on paper and signing. Rather, it is the actual handing over of the thing, so that the recipient can have full control over the property which is sufficient for the gift deed to be concluded and for the realization of ownership, irrespective of its nature.
Q1742. On the occasion of marriage, birthday, etc., a person gave his friend some presents. Several years later, he changed his mind and asked the recipient to return it. Has he the right to do so? And can someone, who donated some money to be used in holding commemoration/celebration assemblies for the Imams’ anniversaries, demand it back?
A: So long as the very present is available in its state, it is permissible for the donor to ask for it to be returned to them. That is unless the recipient is a blood relative of the giver or the gift is compensated for as in a deed of reciprocal present. However, after the gift has been either disposed of or changed in any way from its condition at the time of deed, the donor has no right to demand it back. Nor has he the right to get compensation for it. Also, the money one pays for the sake of Allah and to get nearer to Him, he has no right to get it back.
Debt and Loan
Q1743. A friend of mine, who owns a factory, borrowed from me a sum of money. After a while, he returned the money with an extra amount which he paid of his own free will. It is worth mentioning, though, that we did not sign an agreement to the effect that he should give me that extra money. For my part, I didn’t expect him to give me extra. Is it shar‘ī to take that additional amount of money?
A: If, after the owner had sanctioned the very sale, he sanctioned the receipt of the money as well, the person who concluded the deal should pay the price plus inflation to the original owner. If the owner had rejected the sale, the seller should try his best to return the same property to its owner if possible. Otherwise, he should compensate the owner whether with a similar property or with its value. As based on caution, however, he must reach a settlement with the owner about the difference between the price at the time of payment and the price at the time of transaction.
Q1744. A person who borrowed a certain amount of money refused to pay it back. The lender took him to court to recover the debt. The court ruled in favor of the lender. Accordingly, the borrower had to pay back the debt; he also paid a tax for law enforcement. Is the lender responsible for that according to shar‘?
A: If the procrastinating debtor has to pay the tax of law enforcement, the creditor is liable to nothing in this regard.
Q1745. I gave my brother a loan. On moving to a new house, he gave me a carpet which I, in retrospect, mistook for a present. When I demanded the money back, he claimed that he had given me the carpet in settlement of the debt. Is he justified in his action, despite the fact that he didn’t inform me of his intention at the time?
If I don’t agree with him, should I return the carpet to him? And due to a decline in purchasing power of the currency, can I ask him to pay me back the debt plus an additional amount to make up the difference in the purchasing power of the currency?
A: For settling the loan, it is not sufficient to give a carpet or other things which are not of the same kind as the loan. As long as you do not consent to have the carpet in return for the loan, you should return it to him, as it still belongs to him. As to the decrease in purchasing power, you may demand compensation for it plus the original loan.
Q1746. What is the view on paying off a debt with ill-gotten money?
A: The debt is not considered settled by paying it off with other people’s money. Accordingly, the debtor remains indebted.
Q1747. A woman borrowed a sum of money equivalent to one-third of the value of the house she bought. Both the parties, lender and borrower, agreed that the borrower should return the money when she could afford it. However, the woman’s son gave the lender a check for the amount of the debt as surety. In the past four years, both parties died. Their respective heirs want to settle the matter. How should they go about it? Is it by way of relinquishing possession of one-third of the property to the lender’s inheritors or would the amount written in the check do?
A: The lender’s heirs have no right to the property. They are entitled to get the amount of the debt (considering compensation for the decrease in purchasing power of the money) from the borrower’s heirs if she has left sufficient money to settle it.
Q1748. We borrowed a sum of money from a person. After some time, he disappeared so that we no longer know his whereabouts. What can we do?
A: You have to wait and enquire [to try to locate him] to pay him or his heirs the money they owe. If it is beyond hope to find them, you can approach the authorized religious authority or give it as alms on behalf of the owner.
Q1749. Is it permissible to ask the debtor to pay the expenses of the law suit to prove the case and to recover the debt?
A: According to the law of Islam, the debtor is not required to compensate the expenses borne by the creditor.
Q1750. Should the debtor spare no effort to pay back the debt owed to other people, is it permissible for the creditors to recover the debt from his property, e.g., in secret?
A: If the debtor denies the debt owed or avoids payment without any excuse, the lender has the right to recover his debt from the debtor’s property.
However, if he does not know that he owes or doubts that; it is problematic – or rather impermissible – for the lender to recover his debt from the debtor’s property.
Q1751. Is the debt of the deceased considered among the right of people so that his heirs have to pay it from the deceased’s estate?
A: Irrespective of whom he owes to, i.e., be it to a real or legal entity, their rights have to be upheld. Therefore, it is obligatory on the heirs to pay the creditors or their heirs the debt from the deceased’s estate. Furthermore, they have no right to make use of the estate before they have settled the outstanding debts the deceased owed to other people.
Q1752. Someone is owed a sum of money. He owns a plot of land. The building on the land is not his. Is it permissible for the creditors to seize both the land and the property to recover their debt?
A: They have no right to seize any property which does not belong to the debtor.
Q1753. Suppose a person is in debt. Is the property he and his family live in excluded from seizure to pay the debt?
A: All that which the debtor needs — according to his status — in his day-to-day life, such as a house, furniture, car, and telephone, remain out of bounds insofar as paying the debt off.
Q1754. A businessman became bankrupt. All what is left for him is a building that he put in the market for sale. The proceeds from the sale of the building would not be sufficient to pay off half of the total debt. Is it permissible for the creditors to force him to sell the property, or should they wait for him to settle his debts gradually?
A: If the debtor and members of his family do not take the building as a residence, there is no objection to forcing him to sell it to pay off his debt, even though the proceeds would not be sufficient to settle the debt. For this part of the debt, it is not obligatory on the creditors to give him a period of grace. Nevertheless, they should wait for him to pay them back when he can afford it as far as the rest of the debt is concerned.
Q1755. Is it obligatory on one government department to pay the debt it owes to another?
A: Such a debt has the same ruling as any other debt insofar as its settlement is concerned.
Q1756. If a person pays off the debt of another person without telling them, is it incumbent on the debtor to compensate the person who paid off their debt?
A: The person, who paid off the debt of the other person, without telling him, has no right to demand compensation from the debtor. For his part, the debtor does not have to pay compensation in return for settling the debt.
Q1757. Should the borrower postpone the payment of a loan, is it permissible for the lender to ask him to pay an extra amount over and above the amount of the loan?
A: He can demand the loan plus compensation for decrease in purchasing power of the money.
Q1758. In a bogus transaction, my father gave a person a sum of money. In reality it was a loan. Every month, the borrower used to pay a sum of money, ostensibly, in the form of profits. After the death of my father, the borrower continued paying the money regularly until his death. Should such money be deemed ribā and, therefore, refunded to the borrower’s heirs from the estate of the lender, i.e., my father?
A: Assuming that the money he received was a loan, if the amount paid as profit was not more than inflation, it is no problem. Otherwise, the amount, which is more than inflation, is considered as ribā which is ḥarām in Islam. They should pay the surplus plus its inflation to the debtor or his heirs from the creditor’s estate.
Q1759. Is it permissible for any person to deposit funds with others and charge monthly interest?
A: If the deposited money was with the intention of investment in accordance with a shar‘ī contract, there is no harm in that, nor is there any objection to receiving the profit as a result of the investment. However, should it be intended as a loan, the loan deed is correct in principle. Yet, the stipulation of earning ribā is invalid. Accordingly, any interest thus earned amounts to ribā which is ḥarām.
Q1760. Someone borrowed a sum of money to set up a business. If the business proved a success and made profits, is it permissible for the borrower to give the lender a share of the profits? And is it permissible for the lender to demand from the borrower a share of the profits?
A: The lender has no right in the profits generated by the business. Nor has he any right in demanding from the borrower any share of these profits. However, if the borrower decides, of his free will, i.e. without any prior agreement with the lender, to pay him some money over and above the amount of the debt as a favor, there is no objection to that, rather, it is mustaḥabb.
Q1761. A person bought merchandise from another. They agreed that the buyer should pay for the goods in three months’ time. However, the buyer could not pay the debt on time. Both the parties agreed that the debtor should be given another three months to come up with the money provided that an additional amount is paid on top of the original debt. Is this transaction shar‘ī?
A: Such an increase is deemed ribā which is ḥarām.
Q1762. Ali takes a ribā-bearing loan from Muhammad. A third person writes down the deed and its terms. A fourth one keeps the accounts. Is the accountant considered as the accessory to the fulfillment of the ribā-bearing loan so that his job and the compensation he gets for it are ḥarām as well? Also, there is a fifth person, the auditor, to check the account book to see whether there has been a mistake in the ribā-bearing transaction to inform the accountant without writing down anything or transferring anything to the account book.
A: The work that contributes, in any way, to a ribā-bearing loan, such as finalizing the transaction, collecting the ribā from the borrower, is ḥarām; and the worker is not entitled to a wage for such work.
Q1763. Because of lack of funds, the majority of Muslims find themselves forced to borrow money from non-Muslims and pay it back with interest. Is this shar‘ī?
A: The ribā-bearing loan is absolutely ḥarām even if it is procured from a non-Muslim. However, the loan deed is correct in principle.
Q1764. Someone borrowed a sum of money for a year on the condition that he meets the expenses arising from the lender’s travel, e.g., for performing hajj. Is this transaction valid?
A: To stipulate a condition in the contract to bear the expenses arising from the travel of the lender or the like is the very stipulation of ribā in the loan deed. Therefore, it is both ḥarām and invalid. However, the loan deed is correct in principle.
Q1765. When giving loans, ribā-free loan institutions make the condition that if the borrower falls behind with his repayments for two or more installments, the lender has the right to demand the settlement of the remaining debt at one go. Is it permissible to lend money stipulating such a term?
A: There is no objection to doing so.
Q1766. A cooperative society is set up with joint capital from its members. The society provides ribā-free loans to its members. The objective of the society is to help the individuals. What is the view on the work carried out by its members in order to help and to maintain ties of kinship among the blood relatives?
A: There is no doubt that it is both permissible and commendable to work jointly towards providing loans for the believers along the lines described in the question. However, if the money was provided by the member as a share in the capital of the company on the condition of giving the member a loan in the future, this is not permissible, even though the loan deed is correct in principle [so that the borrower owns the money and owes it is to the lender].
Q1767. Some ribā-free loan institutions deal in real estate. Since some depositors do not agree to their money being used for this purpose, is it permissible for such institutions to take possession of the deposited money? And are such dealings shar‘ī?
A: If the money was deposited in trust with these lending institutions to lend it to others, using it to buy real estate and other things is considered as fuḍūlī* should be dependent on the owners’ approval. But if the money was lent to the institution, there is no objection to its officials buying real estate and other things according to their responsibilities.
* of a contract, e.g., a purchase or a marriage, concluded on behalf of somebody without their permission.
Q1768. Some people borrow an amount of money from others and give them an amount monthly as profit without this being based on any Islamic contract. It is done on the basis of mutual agreement. What is the ruling in this regard?
A: Such transactions are considered ribā-bearing loans. The condition to get ribā is invalid. The increase is regarded as ribā and is, therefore, ḥarām and not permissible to be taken.
Q1769. A borrower paid off the loan he had taken from a ribā-free loan institution. He paid an extra amount to the institution of his own accord. Is it permissible for the officials of the institution to take possession of the money and use it in building work?
A: If, on paying back the loan, the borrower paid the amount of his own free will as a mustaḥabb action when settling a debt, there is no harm in taking it. As for spending it in building work and the like, it should be left to the officials to deal with according to their responsibilities.
Q1770. The administrative committee of a ribā-free loan institution bought property with money borrowed from a person. A month later, the institution paid back the loan with money deposited in its trust by other people without their permission. Is this transaction shar‘ī? And to whom should the ownership of the property belong?
A: There is no harm in purchasing the property with the money lent to the institution if the members of its administrative committee were going about their business according to their brief. Thus, the purchased property should be in the ownership of the institution and its shareholders. Conversely, the purchase is fuḍūlī and hinged upon the approval of the owners of money.
Q1771. What is the ruling in the matter of paying a fee when taking a loan from the bank?
A: If, at the time of taking the loan, the payment made by the borrower to the bank is considered a fee in return for the administrative work like to write it in the book, documentation, and other expenses of the bank such as water and electricity bills and does not amount to ribā on it, then there is no harm in paying the fee. Nor is there any harm in receiving and giving such a fee and taking the loan.
Q1772. A fund gives out loans on the condition that the member deposits a certain amount of money in the fund where it has to be left for three to six months. At the end of this period, the member can take a loan up to double the amount he deposited. After the member pays off the debt, his money is returned to him. What is your view?
A: If depositing the money in the fund was under the title of loan for a particular period, on the condition that the fund grants him the loan, or lending him some money was made conditional on his depositing a certain amount of money with the fund, this condition amounts to ribā and is, therefore, ḥarām and invalid. However, the very loan deed is valid for both parties.
Q1773. As part of their lending policy, ribā-free loan funds require potential loan borrowers to be members in the fund, i.e., to having savings accounts with it and deposit a certain amount in it, and to be resident of the area where the fund is located. Do these conditions amount to involvement in ribā?
A: There is no harm in making the condition of membership or residence in the area, and others which confine the granting of loans to certain people. There is also no harm in opening a savings account with the fund if the aim was to restrict granting the loan to certain people. However, if this condition was an attempt to link granting the person a loan, sometime in the future, with his depositing an amount of money with the fund, the condition amounts to demanding a return on the loan, in which case it is invalid.
Q1774. Is there a way out of ribā in banking transactions?
A: The solution lies in adopting Islamic contracts whereby all the conditions have to be upheld.
Q1775. Is it permissible to spend a loan that was procured for a particular purpose in other avenues?
A: If what the bank gives the individuals is really a loan and stipulates that it should be spent for certain issues, it is not permissible to violate the stipulation. Also, if one receives some money form the bank as silent partner to be invested in a certain project, he cannot use the money in another project.
Q1776. An ex-serviceman, who is now disabled, approached the bank with a view to obtaining a loan. Since such people enjoy certain privileges commensurate with the degree of their disability, in that the greater the disability the greater the concessions and privileges, the person in question wants to utilize this. Although they do not agree with the degree of disability, which was determined by people in the medical profession, can the disabled people use the certificate in enjoying the concessions and privileges?
A: Should the degree of disability have been determined by specialist doctors in accordance with their diagnosis, and according to the law this is the yardstick for the bank in granting the facilities, there is no objection to making use of the certificate outlining the degree of disability, which was determined by the doctors, although in the person’s opinion his disability is less than what they think.
Q1777. In a ṣulḥ deed, a man agreed with his wife to relinquish the ownership of all he owned in her favor. He also made her the guardian of their children. After his death, have the husband’s parents any right in demanding a share of his estate?
A: If it is proved that the deceased has, during his lifetime, given his wife or any other party all his possessions in a ṣulḥ deed, so much so that he did not leave anything for himself till the moment of his death, there is no case for the parents, or the rest of heirs, i.e. they are not entitled to any inheritance. Thus, they have no right to demand from the wife anything of the property which became hers during her husband’s lifetime.
Q1778. In a ṣulḥ deed, a person gave his son a part of his property. Two years later, the father sold the same property to his son. After the father had passed away, his heirs produced a medical report to the effect that the father was not in his full mental capacity. Did the sale of the same property, which was relinquished by the father to the son, supersede the agreement between the two parties? And suppose that the ṣulḥ still stands; is it enforceable in one-third of the property, which was relinquished, or in all of it?
A: The ṣulḥ deed is valid and enforceable .Unless the right of revocation by the giver has been proved, it is binding (irrevocable) as well. As a result, its subsequent sale by the donor at a later date was invalid, even in case the donor was enjoying full mental capacity. The ṣulḥ deed, which was materialized and ruled as both valid and binding, is enforceable in all the property that was relinquished.
Q1779. In a ṣulḥ deed, a person relinquished all his possessions, including his rights, and financial dues with the establishment of medical services. For its part, the said establishment argued that he had no right to transfer his entitlements with it. Thus, they declined to comply with the request. The person in question admitted that he was not frank, claiming that the whole thing was a ploy to extricate himself from paying the debts due from him to others. What is the ruling in this matter?
A: To bring about a ṣulḥ deed involving the property of other people or which others have a right in is dependent on the permission of the owners of the property or the one who has the right to it. Should the ṣulḥ deed concerning the absolute property of the person have been designed to avoid the payment of debts due to others, ruling that it is valid and enforceable is problematic, especially in the light of the fact that there is no hope that he could get further funds to settle his debts.
Q1780. In a document, it is written that a father transferred and turned part of his property over to his son through a ṣulḥ deed. Is such a document valid in shar‘?
A: The document per se is not shar‘ī evidence or proof that the ṣulḥ deed was made and what its mechanics were unless one is confident about its contents. However, if there is any doubt that the ṣulḥ deed was not concluded in a proper manner — while we are sure the owner made it — it should be deemed valid. Therefore, the property is the recipient’s.
Q1781. At the time of our marriage, my father-in-law gave me a plot of land in return for a sum of money through a ṣulḥ contract and turned it over to me. The particulars of the agreement were written down, signed and witnessed. Now my father-in law claims that he really did not intend the agreement and it was not genuine. What is your view?
A: The said agreement is deemed valid. The claim that it was not genuine does not carry weight unless the claimant substantiates it.
Q1782. During his lifetime, my father made a ṣulḥ contract to the effect that all his property transferred to me in return for a sum of money that I should pay my sisters after his death. For their part, my sisters agreed to the arrangement and signed the will. After my father had passed away, I gave my sisters their shares of the agreed amount. Is it permissible for me to take ownership of the property and use it? And if my sisters are not happy with the arrangement, what should I do?
A: There is no harm in this agreement. The relinquished property is rightfully the recipient’s. Dissatisfaction of the rest of the heirs is of no consequence.
Q1783. A person gave his property to one of his sons through ṣulḥ in the absence of some of his children and without the agreement of those present. Should such an agreement still be valid?
A: For the owner to give one of his [would be] heirs some property through ṣulḥ during his lifetime is not dependent on the approval of the rest of the heirs. They have no right to object to it. However, it is not permissible if it causes discord among the children.
Q1784. A person gives some property to another through ṣulḥ on the condition that the recipient makes use of it personally. Is it permissible for the latter to give it to a third-party, for the same purpose, or enter into a partnership for that matter, without the agreement of the previous owner? Should this be shar‘ī, can the previous owner rescind the agreement?
A: It is not permissible for the recipient to disobey the conditions to which he was a party. Failure to do so would result in giving the previous owner. who made the ṣulḥ the right to cancel the agreement.
Q1785. Is it permissible for the owner, who concluded a ṣulḥ with another person, to withdraw and conclude another ṣulḥ with a third party, involving the same property without informing the person who was party to the first ṣulḥ?
A: If the ṣulḥ was concluded in a proper manner, it should be binding on the owner. Thus, he has no right to withdraw unless he has reserved the right to rescind the ṣulḥ. So, if he enters into a ṣulḥ with another party, its validity becomes dependent on the approval of the person who was party to the first ṣulḥ.
Q1786. After the death of a woman, her estate was duly distributed among her children. After the lapse of some considerable time, one of the daughters claimed that during her lifetime, the mother gave all of her property to the daughter. To substantiate her claim, she produced an unofficial document bearing her signature and that of her husband, alongside the alleged thumb print of her mother. She is now claiming to be the inheritor of all the property that belonged to her mother. What is the view on this matter?
A: Unless it is proved that the mother relinquished ownership of the property during her lifetime in favor of her daughter through a ṣulḥ deed, she has no right in what she is claiming. And the mere existence of such a document is not valid unless its contents are substantiated.
Q1787. A person gave his children the whole property he had through a ṣulḥ deed on the condition that he would remain in charge of the property throughout his life. I have the following questions to ask:
a) Is this agreement valid, considering the stipulated condition?
b) Assuming that it is valid and, therefore, enforceable, is it permissible for the proprietor to change his mind? Suppose that this is the case, is it permissible for him to sell part of the property to some of the parties to the ṣulḥ deed, and would this amount to canceling the ṣulḥ deed? And finally, suppose that it is a cancellation of the ṣulḥ deed, should such cancellation extend to all the property or is restricted to the sold part?
c) What does the phrase, “to be in charge of property throughout the donor’s life”, imply? Does it mean the right of revocation, the right of transferring the ownership of the property to others, or the holding of actual control of the property and use it for life?
a) The said ṣulḥ deed is valid and enforceable, even though it contains such a condition.
b) A ṣulḥ deed is among the contracts that are binding. The giver is, therefore, not allowed to cancel it unless there is a condition in the contract, giving him the right to do that. So, without such a condition, the sale of a part of the shared property to one of the shareholders is deemed invalid insofar as buyer’s share is concerned. And regarding the shares of the other shareholders is considered as fuḍūlī and its validity depends on their approval.
c) Apparently, the phrase, ‘‘to be in charge of the property throughout the donor’s life’’, means the right of handling the property physically, to the exclusion of the right of cancellation and the right of transferring the property to the others.
Q 1804: The Imam Khomeini Aid Committee has put many containers and boxes in houses, streets, and public places at different cities and villages to collect mustaḥabb alms and hand it over to the poor. Is it permissible to pay the personnel working for this committee a certain percentage of these boxes’ money as a bonus in addition to their monthly salary and allowances? Also, is it allowed to give some of this money to those who play a role in collecting it, although they are not regular employees of the charity?
A: Paying an amount of money collected through charity boxes to the personnel and employees of the committee as a bonus in addition to their salaries paid by the committee is problematic. Rather, so far as the consent of the owners of the money regarding this is not confirmed, it is impermissible. But there is no problem in paying those who help in collecting the boxes’ contents as their standard wages provided that their help is needed for collecting the money and giving it to needy persons and it is apparent that the money owners agree upon this. Otherwise, it is problematic to use the collected money but for the poor people.
Q1805: Is it allowable to give alms to the beggars found in streets or those who knock on doors asking for money? Or is it better to pay it to orphans and the poor or to give it to the Imam Khomeini Aid Committee?
A: It is preferable to give mustaḥabb alms to the humble and religious needy person. Also, it is no problem if you give it to Imam Khomeini Aid Committee even by throwing it in the alms boxes. But obligatory alms should be handed over to the deserving poor individually by the person himself or by his attorney. However, in case one knows that those who are in charge of the Imam Khomeini Aid Committee collect money from boxes and give to the deserving poor persons, there would be no problem in putting obligatory alms in these boxes.
Q 1806: What is one's duty with respect to the beggars who live on money and food they beg and make a bad impression of the Islamic society especially after the government's decision on gathering them? Is it permissible to give them alms?
A: Try your best to give alms to those needy persons who are humble and religious.
Q 1807: I am a servant in a masjid. As my work increases during the month of Ramadan, some of the benevolent people give me some money as assistance. Am I allowed to take it?
A: what they give you is a kind of favor which is ḥalāl for you and there is no objection to receiving it.
Deposits and Loaned Properties
Q1808. A fire gutted a factory. Among the losses were goods that were deposited in trust in the factory. Should the person in charge of the factory or its owner be made to pay compensation to the owners of these goods?
A: If the fire was not attributed to anybody’s action, nor was there negligence in safeguarding the deposited goods in the factory, no one should be made to pay compensation for the loss of goods.
Q1809. A person deposited his will with another person. It was agreed that after the death of the testator, the person entrusted with the will would hand it over to the deceased’s elder son. He refused to do so. Does this amount to a breach of trust?
A: Refusing to hand the deposit over to the party appointed by the depositor is a kind of treachery.
Q1810. While I was doing my national service, I received some personal effects. However, after completing my service, I failed to hand those items back to my military unit. What should I do? Would it be sufficient to pay the value of the items in money to the Treasury?
A: In case the items were given to you by the army barracks as a loan, it is obligatory on you to return the very items if they are still with you. If not, in that they have been either damaged or lost due to negligence or delay in returning, you have to pay them the equivalent value of these items. Otherwise, you need not worry.
Q1811. A trustworthy person was asked to carry a certain amount of money to deliver it to some people who live in another town. While en route, they were robbed. Should they indemnify the loss?
A: The person entrusted with the money should not be held responsible to compensate it as long as their negligence or improper handling of the money is not proved.
Q1812. I received, from the trustees of a masjid, funds that were donated for the purpose of carrying out certain repairs to the building of the masjid. However, the funds, alongwith my personal belongings, were lost. What should I do?
A: The person entrusted with the money should not be made to pay compensation if there was no negligence or improper handling on their part in safeguarding it.
Leaving a Will
Q1813. Before their martyrdom, some soldiers directed in their wills that one third of their estate should be spent bolstering the defenses [of the Islamic Republic]. And since the purpose behind such work has ended, how should one go about dealing with such a provision?
A: Assuming that the purpose could no longer be served by the provision in the will, the money earmarked for the goal should revert to the inheritors. However it is, as a matter of caution, better spent in charitable work with their permission.
Q1814: In his will, my brother has directed that one-third of his estate should be spent in looking after the people who were displaced by the war in a particular town. Since there are no such people left in that town, what can be done?
A: The money must be given to those people who were displaced and found refuge in that town, even though they might have already been repatriated to their hometowns or housed somewhere else. Yet if the spending is confined to the displaced people who are living in that town at the time being, the money should revert to the inheritors.
Q1815. Is it permissible for someone to stipulate in their will that half of their estate be spent on holding a memorial service for them after they have passed away? Or it is not permissible because Islam has specified special ceiling for it.
A: There is no objection to providing for one’s funeral as there is no ceiling to that as per shar'. However, the provision in the will of the deceased is enforceable in only one third of the entire estate. Any amount over and above the one-third share should be subject to the consent and permission of the heirs.
Q1816. Is leaving a will obligatory so much so that one could be sinful if they do not do it?
A: If the person keeps other’s belongings, owes something to somebody or he should perform some missed rituals (missed prayers, fasts, khums, zakat, kaffārah, maẓālim, haj), of which they could not discharge their responsibility, it is obligatory for them to leave a will. Otherwise, it is not obligatory.
Q1817. A man directed in his will that something not more than one-third of his estate should go to his wife. He made his eldest son the executor of the will. However, the rest of the would-be inheritors objected to this arrangement. What should the executor do?
A: If the share being designated amounts to one-third, or less, of the estate, there is no case for the inheritors′ objecting to it. Indeed, it is obligatory on them to abide by it.
Q1818. What is the ruling in the matter of the denial, by the inheritors, of the existence of a will?
A: It falls to the person who claims the will to prove that in a shar‘ī way. If it is established, it has to be adhered to provided that the matter is confined to one-third or less of the estate. Accordingly, neither the denial of, nor the objection by, the inheritors is of any consequence.
Q1819. A person instructed in his will that some of his property should be spared to pay for religious tithes such as khums, zakat, kaffārah which he owes as well as rituals like missed prayers, fasts, and haj. This was witnessed by a number of trustworthy people, including one of the man’s sons. However, some of the inheritors did not agree to this arrangement, demanding the distribution of the entire estate amongst the heirs. What can be done?
A: Assuming that the will is proven, by way of shar‘ī evidence or the inheritors admitted the will, they have no right in demanding the inclusion, in the estate, of property that was earmarked by the testator in his will to be spared if it is less than one third of the entire estate. It is obligatory on them to spend it in the avenues the testator had set forth.
However, if it is established according to shar‘ that the deceased owed money to other people, or religious dues of financial nature, such as khums, zakāt, kaffārah or of both financial and physical nature like hajj, or the inheritors admitted that although the deceased did not provide for the same in his will, it is obligatory on them to set aside a sum equivalent to these debts from the whole estate and divide the remainder amongst themselves.
Q1820. A person directed in his will that his arable land should be used for repair work of the masjid. However, his inheritors sold the property. Can the will still be valid? And have the inheritors the right to do so?
A: If the will means that the arable land, itself, is to be sold to spend the proceeds in repair work for the masjid and the value of the property is not more than one-third of his estate, the instructions in the will should be implemented and there is no objection to selling the land. But, if the testator meant that the profit from the land would be spent in this avenue, the inheritors had no right to sell the land.
Q1821. A person instructed in his will that a plot of land, among his property, should be reserved to pay for hiring someone to perform prayer and fast, which he missed during his lifetime, and in other charitable causes. Is it permissible to sell this land or should it be deemed an endowment?
A: Unless it is known that the testator’s intention was to leave the land as it is and spend the returns, i.e. rather, he wanted the very land to be spent for him, the [provision in the] will should not be construed as that concerning endowment. Accordingly, there is no harm in selling the land and using the proceeds in the avenues he directed provided that the total value does not exceed one-third [of his estate].
Q1822. Is it permissible for someone to set aside one-third of his estate or deposit the same with another person to be spent in his cause after his death?
A: There is no objection to it provided that the remainder of his estate, i.e. the inheritors’ share, is equivalent to double the amount that has been set aside.
Q1823. A person asked his father, as a provision in the will, to hire someone to perform prayer and fasting for him. Now, that the person has disappeared, is it obligatory on his father to execute the will?
A: Unless the death of the testator is established in any shar‘ī way or the executor is convinced that this is the case, hiring someone to perform the lapsed prayer and fasting on his behalf is not valid.
Q1824. My father has directed in his will that a masjid should be built on one third of his land. Since there are already two masjids adjacent to that land and because of the pressing need for school buildings, is it permissible to build a school on the land instead of a masjid?
A: It is not permissible to act contrary to the will by building a school instead of a masjid. However, if it is known that the deceased’s intention was not building a masjid on that particular land, there is no objection to selling it and spending the proceeds in building a masjid somewhere else where it is needed.
Q1825. Is it permissible for someone to make a provision in his will that, after his death, his body is to be put at the disposal of medical students for dissection or is it ḥarām to do so as it amounts to muthlah?
A: It seems that the religious sources indicating prohibition of muthlah or the like are dealing with some other affairs and do not include dissection of the deceased’s body in which an important interest lies. Apparently, there is no objection to dissection on the provision of observing respect for the Muslim deceased’s body, which serves as an axiom in this type of issues.
Q1826. If someone has instructed in their will that certain parts of their body be donated to the hospital, or a particular person, is such a will valid?
A: The validity and enforceability of such a will cannot be ruled out so long as the removal of the parts from the body does not amount to disrespect to the body itself. Therefore, there is no objection to enforcing the will.
Q1827. Is the permission of the inheritors, during the lifetime of the testator, to spend more than one third of the estate sufficient to make the will enforceable? Assuming that it is sufficient, is it permissible for the inheritors to change their mind after the death of the testator?
A: The permission of the inheritors, in the lifetime of the testator, is sufficient to make the will valid and enforceable insofar as the excess amount to the one-third share is concerned. It is not permissible for them to revoke the permission after the death of the testator. Such retraction is of no consequence.
Q1828. In his will, a person has instructed that the prayer and fasting he missed during his lifetime should be performed after his death. He got martyred in the war, leaving behind a furnished house. If his possessions were to be sold to pay for hiring a person to do the job, this would leave his inheritors facing hardship, especially his fledgling children. What should the inheritors do about the will?
A: If the martyr did not leave any property, it is not obligatory on anyone to act upon the will. However, it is obligatory on the eldest son, among his children, to perform the missed prayer and fasting on behalf of his father when he reaches the age of shar‘ī puberty. If the deceased left behind an estate, one third of it should be spent in the avenues he prescribed. The need of the inheritors, and the fact that they are still young, are not shar‘ī reasons for not complying with the will.
Q1829. In order for the will to be valid, should its named beneficiary exist at the time of writing it?
A: In order for the will to be valid insofar as the transfer of property [from the testator to the beneficiary] is concerned, the beneficiary should exist, even if it is an unborn fetus, even before the stage of ensoulment so long as it will be born alive.
Q1830. In a written will, a person appointed an executor to enforce his will. He appointed another person to act as an overseer without specifying his scope of power, is it only to know about executor's acts anther or not they are in accordance with the terms of the will or should the executor act according to the opinion of the overseer? What should the boundaries of the authority of this overseer be?
A: Assuming that the power given to the executor in the will is absolute, it is not obligatory on the executor to consult the overseer in any matter, although it is closer to caution. However, the overseer’s role is to supervise the work of the executor.
Q1831. In his will, the deceased appointed me as the supervisor and his son as the executor of his will. Since the death of the son, I have become the only administrator of the will. However, for personal reasons, I have become increasingly busy, so much so that I hardly have time to attend to matters relating to the will. Is it permissible for me to change the areas in which the returns of one-third of the estate is going to be spent by giving them to a certain department to spend the income in charitable causes and for the poor and the needy registered by that department?
A: The supervisor has no right to independently implement the provisions stipulated by the deceased in the will, even after the first executor’s death, unless he becomes the executor after the death of the first executor as provided for in the will. Otherwise, the supervisor should resort to the authorized religious authority with a view to appointing someone else to replace the dead executor. At any rate, it is not permissible to encroach upon the will of the deceased or alter it in any way.
Q1832. Someone has instructed in his will that they pay a sum of his money to someone else to recite verses of the Noble Qur’an in the Eminent City of Najaf or he endowed a property for the same purpose. The executor of the will or the person in charge of the endowment cannot [for reasons beyond their control] send the money to Najaf to hire someone to do so. What should they do?
A: If it is feasible to spend the money for the recitation of the Noble Qur’an in the Eminent City of Najaf, albeit in the near future, it is obligatory to execute the will.
Q1833. Prior to her death, my mother instructed me to spend the proceeds from the sale of her jewelry in charitable avenues on Thursday nights. I have done so ever since her death. What should I do in the event of traveling to a non-Muslim country?
A: Unless it is known that her intention was to spend the money on Muslims and non-Muslims alike, the spending should be confined to the Muslims only, albeit by depositing the money with a trusted person in a Muslim country to spend it for Muslims.
Q1834. In his will, a person has instructed that parts of his land should be sold and the proceeds spent in holding memorial services and other charitable causes. The sale of the land to a third party would put the inheritors in an unbearable situation. So, is it permissible for them to buy the land for themselves and pay for it by installments whereby they can spend the money in the avenues the testator had named with the knowledge of both the executor and the supervisor?
A: In itself, there is no objection to the buying of the land by the inheritors themselves. As for paying for it by installments, there is no harm in that provided that an equitable price is paid for the land, that both the executor and the trustee see that an interest is served [in this way], and that the installments are not going to be a hindrance to the [smooth and timely] execution of the will. All of this, though, is dependent on the knowledge that the intention of the testator was not the selling of the land for cash and spending the proceeds in the first year.
Q1835. On his deathbed, a person appointed two people, one as executor and the other deputy. However, later on he changed his mind and informed both the appointees of his new decision. He wrote another will whereby he appointed one of his relatives in his absence as the executor. With the existence of the second will, would the first one still be valid? Suppose that the first two people, who were appointed by the deceased as his executors in the first will, acted according to the now revoked will, would their action be unlawful, so much so that they must repay the second executor what they had already spent from the deceased’s property?
A: After the deceased had changed his mind, during his lifetime, and dismissed the first executor, the latter should not have acted upon the will, after he had been told of his dismissal. However, any disposal of property by the dismissed executor should be dependent on the agreement of [the shar‘ī] executor. If the latter did not approve it, the dismissed executor must be made to pay compensation.
Q1836. In his will, a person directed that certain property should be given to one of his sons. Two years later, this person changed his will. Would this change of heart be shar‘ī? And suppose that the person is ill, to such an extent that he needs care, would the responsibility of providing such care fall on the shoulders of his eldest son, who is the executor of his will, or should it be shared among all his inheritors?
A: There is no legal impediment to changing one’s mind regarding the will one wrote provided that one does it while still enjoying a healthy mental condition. In this case, the recent will is valid according to shar‘. As for the provision of care, it has to be catered for by employing a nurse with money paid by him [the father]. If he cannot afford it, the responsibility should rest equally with all those, among his children, who can afford it. Therefore, it should not fall solely on the shoulders of the executor.
Q1837. In his will, my father has appointed me as the executor. After the estate was divided, one third of it was put aside. Is it permissible for me to sell it to be spent in the avenues he named?
A: If he had directed that one third of this estate should be spent in the avenues he so described, there is no objection to selling the share, having taken it out of the entire estate, and using it in the avenues described in the will. However, if the instruction was specifically confined to the disposal of the returns of the share of one-third, it is not permissible to sell the property itself, even for spending the proceeds in the avenues stipulated in the will.
Q1838. A person appointed an executor and a supervisor. However, he did not specify what the appointees should do, especially in matters relating to the bequeathed share of one-third of his estate. What should the executor do regarding the administration of the share? Can the executor separate the one-third of the estate and spend it on charities and public services? Does it suffice for being entitled to the one-third of the estate to make a will and appoint an executor so that the executor is obligated to separate the one-third and to spend it?
A: If it is at all possible to discern the intentions of the testator, even by weighing the evidence and consulting the local tradition and custom, the executor should act according to his understanding of the testator’s intention and the areas of expenditure. Otherwise, the will would be deemed void due to its ambiguity and because the areas of expenditure are not specified.
Q1839. In his will, a person has directed that all fabrics, whether sewn or unsown, and others should go to his wife. What could the word "others" mean? Does it imply his movable properties or those of a value less than fabrics?
A: Unless the meaning of the word "others" that is mentioned in the will is known from the context, and the intention of the testator fathomed, this word cannot be acted upon because of its loose, as well as ambiguous, meaning. As for applying it to any of the assumptions outlined in the question, this is left to the approval of the heirs and their satisfaction.
Q1840. In her will, a woman directed that one third of her estate should be spent on performing eight years of prayer that she had missed during her lifetime. She further instructed that the remainder should be spent on khums, repayment of maẓālim, and in other charitable causes.
However, the executor knew for sure that she didn’t have to perform any prayer. Yet, he hired a person to perform prayer on her behalf for two years and paid them from the share of one-third of the estate; he spent the remainder in the war effort, khums, and repaying maẓālim. What is the position of the executor?
A: It is obligatory that the provisions of the will are adhered to as the deceased has stipulated. It is not permissible for the executor to overlook any of it. Any money the executor spent contrary to the testator’s wish should be compensated with the executor’s own money.
Q1841. In his will, a person has instructed that the two executors he appointed should act according to the provisions stipulated therein. However, clause 3 of the will requires that all the property left by the testator be collected, that his debts be paid, and that his share of one-third of the estate then be set aside and spent according to clauses 4, 5, and 6. There was another requirement, i.e., after the lapse of 17 years, the remaining amount still outstanding from the share of one-third of the estate be given to the poor among the heirs.
Both the executors of the will could not manage to set aside the share of one-third of the estate, let alone act according to the above quoted provisions, even after the lapse of the appointed period of time. The inheritors claimed that the will has become void due to the time lag and that the executors have no right to remain in control of the estate of the deceased any more. What is your opinion about the matter? And what should the executors do?
A: Neither the will nor the power of the executors become void due to the delay in executing the will. Indeed, it is obligatory on the executors to act upon the will in spite of the time that may have passed. It is not permissible for the inheritors to harass the executors to execute the will unless their authority has been restricted by a time span and it is expired.
Q1842. The inheritance of a person was divided among his heirs, each of whom had officially registered his own share with the authorities. Six years later, one of the inheritors claimed that the deceased had verbally instructed him to give part of a house to one of his sons. A number of women testified in his favor. Should such claim carry any weight?
A: Neither the time factor nor the official completion of the distribution of the inheritance should detract from the validity of the will provided that it [the claim] is proved in a shar‘ī way. So, if the claimant succeeded in proving his claim, all the parties have to act upon it. Otherwise, it is obligatory on each and every inheritor who admitted the will as being genuine to abide by the provisions of the will insofar as their respective share of the inheritance is concerned.
Q1843. In his will, a person appointed two people, one as executor and the other as overseer. This official appointment was confined to performing hajj on his behalf with money paid from the proceeds of selling a piece of land belonging to the testator. Meanwhile, a third person claimed that he had already performed hajj for the deceased of his own accord, i.e. without informing the executor or the overseer. After some time, the executor passed away. What should the overseer do in this case? Should he spend the proceeds to perform hajj for the deceased or give it to the claimant as compensation? Or he is obligated to do nothing in this regard.
A: If it was incumbent on the deceased to perform hajj and he wanted to discharge his responsibility by appointing a person to do it on his behalf, the performance of hajj by the third person would be sufficient. However, the latter should not demand payment from anybody for what he has done.
Otherwise, both the executor and the overseer should act upon the will of the deceased by arranging for hajj to be performed on his behalf with money paid from the proceeds of the sale of the land. Should the executor die before executing the will, the overseer should consult an authorized religious authority.
Q1844. Is it permissible for the heirs to make the executor pay a certain amount towards performing any outstanding prayer and fasting on behalf of the deceased? And what should the executor do in this respect?
A: Acting upon the provisions of the will of the deceased rests with the executor. He must go about the fulfillment of those provisions as he sees fit. However, the heirs have no right to meddle in his affairs.
Q1845. A person wrote a will which he kept with him. He got killed in a fire. No one knows the contents of the will. Someone does not know whether he is the only executor or whether there might be another executor as well. What should he do?
A: Having established the will, the executor must act upon those provisions of the will he is certain were not altered in any way and pay no attention to the possibility that another person may be the executor as well.
Q1846. Is it permissible for the testator to appoint an executor who is not among his immediate inheritors? Has anybody the right to object to that?
A: Choosing and appointing an executor whom the testator thinks fit for the job is the latter’s prerogative alone. The appointee should not necessarily be among his heirs. The heirs should have no right to object to that.
Q1847. Is it permissible for some of the inheritors, without consulting other inheritors or seeking permission of the executor, to defray hospitality expenses from the estate?
A: If they wanted to enforce the provisions of the will, this is the responsibility of the executor of the will and they have no right to do so without the permission of the executor. Yet, if they want to spend from the shares of the inheritors in the estate, this should be met with the approval of all the inheritors. Otherwise, it will be deemed usurpation of the shares of other inheritors.
Q1848. A testator named three different executors in his will as the first, the second, and the third executor. Who among them is considered the executor? Is it the first one or all of them?
A: This depends on the intention of the testator. So, unless it is known from the evidence that they are jointly, or successively, responsible for executing the will, they should reach a consensus to act upon the will jointly.
Q1849. Someone appointed three persons to enforce his will jointly, but they failed to agree on the execution of the will, how would their differences be reconciled?
A: In case there are multiple executors, if the executors of a will failed to agree on the execution of the will, they should consult ḥākim of shar ‘.
Q1850. I am the eldest son of my father, hence I am responsible for performing any outstanding prayer and fast my father owed. However, my father has directed in his will that one-year of prayer and fast should be performed. How should I go about the fact that more than one year of prayer and fast is outstanding?
A: The instructions of the deceased to clear any outstanding prayer and fast should be catered for from his share of one-third of the estate if he has directed thus. Accordingly, it is within your right to hire a person to perform the outstanding prayer and fast. Should the outstanding duration be more than what he directed in his will, you have to perform it on his behalf, albeit by hiring a person to do it with money paid from your own pocket.
Q1851. A testator has directed in his will that his eldest son should perform hajj on his behalf with money paid from the proceeds of the sale of a piece of land he left. However, since the son could not secure the government permission to go to hajj at a good time and due to the spiraling cost of the journey, the proceeds of the sale of the land have become insufficient to pay for the expenses of hajj. Since this is the case, is it obligatory on the rest of the inheritors to help the eldest son out in order to enable him to act upon the will of the testator, or is it his responsibility alone as he is obligated to perform hajj on behalf of his father?
A: As the question goes, the rest of the inheritors should not have any responsibility towards bearing any expenses arising from the journey to hajj. However, if performing hajj did become obligatory on the testator and the proceeds of the sale of land are not sufficient to meet the expenses of hajj by proxy, even from the mīqāt, the shortfall of the expenses of a hajj, performed from the mīqāt, has to be met from the whole estate.
Q1852. An inheritor can provide a proof, by way of a receipt or a testimony that the testator has paid an amount of money as religious tithes. Should the inheritor still be liable to pay the religious tithes of the estate?
A: The existence of a receipt or a testimony of witnesses that the deceased was paying religious tithes is not a legal proof of a disclaimer that he did not owe any religious tithes. If he declared that such tithes were still outstanding, or the inheritors came to such a conclusion, it is obligatory on them to clear what the deceased had admitted to, or they themselves have concluded to be the case, by catering for it from the whole estate. Of course, they are not required to pay anything else.
Q1853. A person has directed in his will that one-third of his property be set aside to be spent on his behalf. However, in a footnote to the will, he mentioned that the one-third share should be met from the proceeds of the sale of a house, which he instructed to be sold after 20 years from his departure. How should this share be calculated? Should it be confined to the house or the entire estate, especially if the proceeds of the sale of the house were not sufficient to make the one-third share?
A: By what he wrote in the will and its footnote if he meant to determine only the house as the one-third while its value does not exceed the one-third after the debts are deducted, then, the one-third includes only the house to which the deceased is entitled. The same ruling is applicable if he wanted to earmark the house for the one-third expenditures, while the value of the house is equal to the one-third of the estate after debt deduction. Otherwise, some other properties among the estate should be added to the house to make it one-third of the estate.
Q1854. After 20 years of the death of her husband, and 4 years since her daughter sold her share of the estate, the wife of the deceased produced a document claiming that the entire estate of her husband belonged to her. However, she has maintained that she was in possession of this document all these years, yet she preferred to remain silent.
Should the division of the estate among the heirs be ruled invalid, and so, the sale of the daughter’s share? Assuming that it is void, is it correct to annul the subsequent property deed which is held by the buyer of the property that was sold by the daughter?
A: Even if we assume that the will, which has been produced by the mother, is genuine beyond any doubt, her silence and non-objection all this period since the death of her husband, and her daughter’s receipt of her share of the estate and its subsequent sale, are considered a tacit agreement by her to what has taken place.
Accordingly, she has no right to demand from her daughter to return what she had received of the estate. Nor has she the right to demand the return of the property from the buyer. Thus, the sale of the property by the daughter is deemed valid and it can, thus, remain in the ownership of the buyer.
Q1855. A martyr has directed in his will that his father should sell the house which belongs to him to pay for his debt in case he was unable to do that without selling the property. He further instructed that a certain amount of money should be spent in charitable avenues, the proceeds from the sale of the land should be given to his uncle, expenses arising from hajj by his mother should be paid, and that money should be paid on his behalf to perform a number of years of outstanding prayer and fast that he missed.
However, his brother married his widow and moved to live in the same house, which she bought in part. The brother incurred some money as a result of repairs he carried out to the property, with money paid in part from the proceeds of the sale of the gold coin which belonged to the son of the martyr.
What is the view on the brother’s having a free hand in the estate of the martyr and the property owned by his son [orphan]? And is he justified in making use of the salary allocated to the martyr’s son, noting that he is raising him and catering for his needs?
A: All the property of the martyr should be pooled. After the payment of any debts owed by him, one third of the remainder should be allocated to carry out the provisions made in the will, i.e. the performance of prayer and fast on his behalf, the payment of expenses arising from sending his mother to perform hajj, and suchlike. The remaining two-thirds and whatever left over from the one-third share should be divided among the inheritors of the martyr, i.e. his parents, son, and widow in accordance with the Holy Book and Sunnah.
However, all actions concerning the house and all other possessions of the martyr should be carried out with the agreement of the inheritors and the legal guardian of the minor child. Whatever the brother has spent on the repairs carried out to the house, without the permission of the legal guardian of the child, has to be borne by him alone, i.e. without deducting them from the property of the child.
Similarly, he can neither spend the proceeds of selling the gold coin, nor the salary of the child on the expenses arising from the maintenance work carried out to the property. Furthermore, he has no right to spend any money that belongs to the child, either on himself or on the child unless he obtains the permission and agreement of the legal guardian of the child. Failure to do so should result in his indemnifying anything paid from the child’s belongings. Purchasing the property should meet with the permission of the inheritors and the legal guardian of the child.
Q1856. A testator has stipulated in his will that all his property, including three hectares of fruit groves, was subject to muṣālaḥah, thus after his death: Two hectares should go to some of his children, and one hectare allocated to the special provisions he has made for himself. However, after his death, it transpired that the total area of the groves is less than two hectares.
Should the instructions, he outlined in his will stand as they are, or should they be treated in a general sense, i.e. a will concerning his estate after his death? And after the discovery that the area of the groves is less than two hectares, should they be allocated to his children, thus making the provision of the one hectare redundant, or should the matter be tackled differently?
A: Unless it is ensured that, during his lifetime, the muṣālaḥah was materialized in a valid way, in that both the benefactor and the beneficiary had agreed to the muṣālaḥah, the instructions contained in the will would be treated as a will [in a general sense].
Accordingly, the provisions he made in the will with regard to the shares of the fruit groves for his children and himself should only be applicable to one third of the entire estate. Anything in excess of the one-third share is dependent on the permission of the inheritors. If such permission is not forthcoming, the excess amount would be treated as inheritance for them.
Q1857. A person transferred all his property to the ownership of his son, on the understanding that after the death of his father he would pay his sisters certain amounts of money, in lieu of their shares of the inheritance. However, one of his sisters was not present at the time when the distribution of the inheritance took place. She returned home and demanded from her brother that her share be paid. The brother turned down the request. After several years he offered to give her the specified amount of money, but after the currency has lost much of its purchasing power. The sister insists that she be paid the real value of the sum of money; her brother accuses her of demanding the payment of ribā. What is the ruling in the matter?
A: Provided that the transfer of the property to the ownership of the son, and the provisions made in the will for paying the females certain amounts of money were done properly and according to shar‘, each of them is only entitled to receive the particular amount allocated to her. However, if the purchasing power of money at the time of the father's death was higher than that at the time of payment, it is necessary to take it into consideration and it is not regarded as ribā.
Q1858. During their lifetime, my parents directed that a plot of arable land they own should be allocated, as their legitimate share of one-third of the estate after their death, to pay for the expenses arising from their funeral, others relating to the performance of prayers and fasting they may have missed during their lifetime, and the like. Being their only son, and since they had no cash left after their death, I paid all the expenses from my own pocket. Is it permissible for me to retrieve what I spent from the share of one-third they have provided for in their will?
A: It is permissible for you to defray the expenses you incurred as a result of acting upon the provisions of the will provided that you had the intention of deducting the same from their share of one-third of the estate. Otherwise, it is not.
Q1859. In his will, a person has directed that one third of the property, which has been occupied by his wife, should be allocated to her after his death, as long as she remained unmarried. Since the widow did not marry after the lapse of her waiting period, and she does not contemplate marrying again for the foreseeable future, what would the position of the executor and the inheritors be vis-à-vis the execution of the will?
A: For the time being, they should give the property to the widow as directed in the will. However, this transfer of property should be made contingent upon the widow not remarrying. If she gets married, the inheritors have the right to revoke the arrangements and retrieve the property.
Q1860. Having decided on the division of our joint inheritance from our father, which he in turn had inherited from his father so that our uncle and grandmother have a share in it, they produced a thirty-year-old will, stating that, besides the share of the inheritance, they should be given a certain amount of money of his estate. However, they paid themselves the specified amount of money at the current rates. The result has been that they got much more than the original amounts that had been provided for in the will. Are they legally justified in what they have done?
A: In the given case, it is necessary that the decrease in purchasing power of money is paid.
Q1861. A martyr has directed in his will that the carpet he owned be donated to the Holy Shrine of Imam Ḥusayn (a.s.) in Karbalā, Iraq. However, should we leave this carpet for safekeeping in the house, until such a time comes when we would be able to take it to the shrine, as directed by the will, it might sustain damage. So, is it permissible for us, in the meantime, to leave it in the masjid to avoid any damage it could sustain?
A: Should the preservation of the carpet from any damage be dependent on keeping it in the masjid, on a temporary basis, then there is no objection to doing so.
Q1862. A person has directed in his will that specified amounts of profits from his property should be donated to the masjids and other charitable avenues. However, all his property was usurped. Salvaging the property would require some expense. Is it permissible to defray the expenses from the estate? And is the possibility of restoring the property from usurpation sufficient for the will to be deemed valid?
A: There is no objection to providing for the payment of the expenses arising from salvaging the property from the hands of the usurper from the profits of the property left by the testator pro rata. It is sufficient for the validity of the will that the property can meet the expenses arising from the provisions of the will, even after the efforts put into retrieving the property from the hands of the usurper. That is, even by spending some money in the process.
Q1863. A person has directed in his will that all his property, movable and immovable, should be transferred to the ownership of his only son, thus denying his six daughters their shares in the estate. Can such a will be deemed enforceable? If not, how should one go about distributing the estate among the six daughters and one son?
A: There is no objection to considering the said will valid in a general sense. However, it should be enforced as far as one third of the entire estate is concerned. The dispensing of any thing over and above the one-third share is dependent on the permission of all the inheritors. Thus, if the daughters object to giving their consent, each of whom should receive a share of inheritance of the remaining two thirds of the estate.
Accordingly, the distribution of the estate of the father should be divided into 24 parts. The son should receive 8/24 of the estate as one third and 4/24 thereof as his share in the remaining two thirds. Each one of the daughters should receive 2/24. In other words, one half of the entire estate goes to the son, whereas the second half should be divided between the six daughters.
Q1864. A person bought a piece of land. He noted the sale on a piece of paper in which the name of his minor child is written as the buyer. After being mature according to shar‘, the child sold the land to a third party. The inheritors of the person laid a claim to the land to the effect that it was theirs. Are they justified in contesting the right of the third party, given the fact that the name of the father is not mentioned in the document?
A: Mentioning the name of the child in the document per se is not a yardstick for ownership. However, if it is established that the father bought the land with his own money, and then relinquished it to his son by way of gift or ṣulḥ, the land is rightfully his. If, after his shar‘ī puberty, he sold it to a third party in a proper way, no one has the right to contest the buyer’s ownership of the land or take it away from him.
Q1865. I have been among a chain of people who changed hands in buying the same plot of land. However, I built a house on the land. A person has come forward, claiming that the land is his. He produced a document, dating back to the days prior to the revolution, to this effect. Accordingly, he filed a lawsuit against me and a number of my neighbors.
Would my exercising the right of ownership over this land amount to usurpation?
A: Buying the land from the previous proprietor should, according to the sharī‘ah, be deemed correct, and so is the ownership of the land. So unless the claimant establishes his legal ownership of the land in court, he has no right to contest the ownership of the present proprietor of the land.
Q1866. In order to minimize the amount of tax levied on the property, the father made arrangements to put the name of his minor son as the owner in the official document. After his shar‘ī puberty, the son is now claiming that the property is his. It is a fact that, all along, the property has been at the disposal of the father and he says he has bought the land for himself with his own money. If the son takes control of the property and exercises the right of ownership over it without the permission of the father, would he be deemed a usurper?
A: If the father, who bought the property with his own money, still has the property at his disposal, i.e. even after the son became mature according to shar‘, the latter should have no right to contest the right of ownership of the property of his father, nor should he have it at his disposal. That is unless the son establishes that his father gave him the property by way of gift and transferred its ownership to him, for the presence of his name in the property deed per se is not a sufficient proof of ownership.
Q1867. Fifty years ago, a person bought a plot of land. Since the name of "The High Mountain" is mentioned in the property deed as the boundary of the land, he is claiming the ownership of millions of square meters of common land and scores of old houses built on it. It is to be noted, however, that the person did not use those lands and the houses. Furthermore, there is no evidence that could indicate the ownership of those lands for the last centuries. He further alleges that the prayer of the people conducted on this land and property is not shar‘ī because of the alleged usurpation. What is the view on this matter?
A: If the land that falls between the land that has been bought and the said mountain is derelict land with no previous owner or some people had it at their disposal and transferred it to the present occupiers, any party who actually exercises the right of ownership over any part of the land or the properties is deemed the rightful owner of what they have control over. Thus, all the actions concerning the property they take are deemed correct and shar‘ī. That is unless the claimant establishes, with a competent judicial authority and in accordance with the shar‘, that he owns the land and property.
Q1868. Is it permissible to build a masjid on a piece of land that had been confiscated by a court injunction without the consent of its previous owner? And is it permissible to hold prayers and other acts of religious worship in such a masjid?
A: If the land had been taken away from its previous owner by the order of a shar‘ī court, or in accordance with law that is being enforced by the Islamic state, or the shar‘ī ownership of the claimant is not proven, using the land is not contingent upon the permission of the person who is claiming ownership or the previous owner. Accordingly, there is no objection to building the masjid on the land. Nor is there an objection to holding prayer and other religious rituals there.
Q1869. Some property was in the hands of the heirs for generations on end. The property was usurped by someone who became the owner. After the triumph of the Islamic revolution, the property was taken away from the usurper. Should the ownership of the property revert to the inheritors or have they precedence over others to buy it from the state?
A: Having control over something by way of inheritance should not necessarily mean the actualisation of ownership. Nor should it give [the inheritors] the right to buy the property. Nevertheless, it is a shar‘ī indication of ownership unless the contrary is proven. If it was proved that they did not own the property or, for that matter, it was proved that the property belongs to some other people, they [the inheritors] have no right to claim it back or ask for compensation. Otherwise, they should have the right to restore the very property or the compensation thereof by virtue of their being holders of the actual control.
Placement under Guardianship and Signs of Maturity
Q1870. A man died and left behind a daughter and a son who is a ward due to incompetence. Is it permissible for his sister to have the right of disposal over his property by virtue of being his guardian?
A: One person does not have guardianship over one’s incompetent brother. However, should he have no paternal grandfather and if the dead father did not leave a will appointing someone to be the guardian of the brother, the guardianship over him and his property rests with the authorized religious authority.
Q1871. What is the criterion for determining the age of maturity for boys and girls, is it the solar year or the lunar one?
A: The yardstick is the lunar year.
Q1872. In order to know whether a person has matured according to shar‘, how can one determine the specific date of birth in accordance with the lunar year, i.e. the day, the month, and the year?
A: It can be reached at by calculating the difference between the lunar year and the solar one if the date of birth according to the solar year is known.
Q1873. Is it right to consider a boy below the age of 15 years, who had a nocturnal emission, as mature by shar‘?
A: Yes, he can be considered as mature by shar‘ due to nocturnal emission, because it is one of the signs of maturity.
Q1874. If there was a ten percent chance that the other two signs of adulthood, i.e. other than the age of shar‘ī puberty, appeared before the specified age of shar‘ī puberty how can one go about it?
A: The probability that they appeared first is not sufficient to conclude that maturity has set in.
Q1875. Does sexual intercourse count as a sign of shar‘ī puberty which, in turn, leads to the upholding of obligatory religious duties? If the person in question was not aware of the law, until three years later, should they perform ghusl? Would those acts of worship they performed during this period, whose acceptability is dependent on their being ritually pure, be considered void and one should perform their qaḍā’?
A: Having a sexual intercourse per se, i.e. without ejaculation, should not count among the signs of shar‘ī puberty. However, it is a good reason for having ghusl, which should be performed once the person is mature. Moreover, should there not be at least one sign of shar‘ī puberty, they cannot be declared mature by shar‘. Therefore, they are not duty-bound to embark on any religious obligations. If the person, who was not yet mature, became junub by way of a sexual intercourse and performed prayer and fasting without performing ghusl after becoming mature, it is obligatory on them only to repeat the prayers — not fasting — provided that they were not aware of janābah.
Q1876. A number of students, boys and girls, of our institute became mature in terms of their age. However, having noticed that they were not mentally capable, I arranged for them to take an IQ test. As a result, their mental age was less than normal by at least one year. Yet, some of them cannot be declared as being insane outright, because many of them are aware of social and religious matters. Should such diagnosis be considered on a par with a conventional medical examination?
A: The criterion for religious duties becoming obligatory upon any person is their shar‘ī puberty, in addition to being recognized, as a sane person. The varying levels of intelligence and comprehension are not a criterion and have no bearing whatsoever on this matter.
Q1877. In some religious texts, a discriminating child has been defined thus, "The child who can differentiate between good and bad". What is meant by "good and bad", and what is the age of discrimination?
A: The yardstick for determining what is good and what is bad is the common view. However, the child’s circumstances and the local customs, tradition, and ethical code should be taken into consideration. As for the age of discrimination, it varies from one person to another, especially, in terms of talent, discernment, and intelligence.
Q1878. Is the experience of having a period by a girl who has not yet completed her ninth year, a sign of her shar‘ī puberty, especially if the blood has all the properties of menstrual blood?
A: This is not a sign of her shar‘ī puberty, nor is the blood treated as that of menstruation, even if it has the properties of menstrual blood.
Q1879. Before his death, a person gave a sum of money to his nephew as a gesture of appreciation for the services he performed. However, the property of the deceased person had been frozen by a court injunction. The nephew spent the money his uncle had given him on the expenses of the funeral and other matters concerning the deceased. Is the court justified in demanding that the nephew return the sum of money he got from his uncle?
A: Should the money that was given by the uncle be among his frozen property, or it was the property of others, the uncle should not have given it to his nephew. By the same token the recipient should have no right of ownership over the money. Accordingly, the court has the right to demand the return of the money. Otherwise, no one has the right to retrieve the money.
Q1880. Is silent partnership in other than gold and silver currencies permissible?
A: There is no objection to a silent partnership being conducted in banknotes that are used nowadays. It is not permissible, though, to be conducted in merchandise.
Q1881. Is it all right to make use of a silent partnership contract in domains such as production, services, distribution, and trade? And are the contracts of present-day silent partnerships outside the commercial arena concluded under this definition, legal?
A: A silent partnership contract should be confined to investing the capital in trade, i.e. buying and selling only. Using it under this title in the domains of production, distribution, services, and others is not permissible.
However, there is no objection to resorting to other shar‘ī contracts such as ju‘ālah and ṣulḥ.
Q1882. I took a sum of money from a friend of mine by way of a silent partnership. It was agreed that I would return the money with an extra amount added to it after a period of time. I gave part of this money to another friend who was in need of it. It was agreed with the latter that he would settle one-third of the mark up. Is this type of dealing legitimate?
A: Taking money from someone on condition that it would be paid back after a while with an extra amount added to it does not fall under the silent partnership type of contract. It is a ribā-bearing loan that is ḥarām. Taking the money as silent partnership does not amount to borrowing. The money will not become the property of the working partner. In other words it remains the property of the original owner. However, the working partner can still trade in it. They [the owner and the working partner] share the profits made in accordance with the partnership they agreed. The recipient of the money has no right to lend any of it to a third party, nor has he the right to give it to the others under a silent partnership deal unless it is done with the consent of the owner.
Q1883. What is the view on borrowing money under the title of "silent partnership" from people who charge between 4% and 5% monthly as a "profit" according to the contract?
A: Borrowing money in this way has nothing to do with silent partnership. Indeed, it is borrowing with ribā that is ḥarām. It will not become ḥalāl by deceptively giving it another name, although the loan contract is correct and the borrower becomes the owner of the money he borrowed.
Q1884. A person gave another a sum of money to trade in it on the condition that he pays the lender a monthly sum as profit and bear the loss. Is this kind of deal legitimate?
A: There is no harm in the agreement between the two parties if it is based on a proper and shar‘ī silent partnership. Nor there is any harm in making a provision in the process that the working partner gives the owner a monthly portion of his proportional share of profit on account and bears the loss.
Q1885. I gave a person a sum of money to import a number of vehicles on condition that we equally share the profits arising from the sale. After a while, he gave me a sum of money, saying that it was my share of the profit. Is it permissible for me to take that money?
A: If you gave him the money by way of a silent partnership, he then bought the vehicles and sold them, and paid you your share of the profit, the money is yours by shar‘.
Q1886. A person deposited a sum of money with another person to trade in it on the condition that he would receive a sum of money on account. At the end of the year they agreed to prepare the profit and loss account of the business. If the owner of the money and his partner agreed to settle the profit and loss, is this acceptable?
A: There is no harm in the payment of money to the person if it was based on a proper and shar‘ī silent partnership deal, and the owner of the money took from the working partner monthly a portion of the profits on account so that the exact amount would be calculated later. Nor is there any harm in the partners’ settling their dues at the end of each year. Yet, should it take the form of a loan on the condition that the borrower would pay a monthly share of the profit to the lender, then they would make a settlement at the end of the year of what each of them owes the other, this indeed is a ribā-bearing loan that is ḥarām. Accordingly, the provision contained therein is void, although the loan contract is correct. Moreover, it shall not become ḥalāl for them because they agreed to settle their respective dues. Therefore, the lender has no right to receive any profit, neither is he obliged to bear any loss.
Q1887. A person took a sum of money from another by way of a silent partnership. It was agreed that the working partner takes two thirds of the profit and one third goes to the owner of the money. The working partner bought goods and sent them to his hometown. On the way, the goods were stolen. Who should bear the loss?
A: The loss of capital or trading money wholly or in part shall be borne by the owner provided that the working partner, or any other party, is not to blame for acting unjustly. However, it is defrayed by the profit unless it was agreed that the working partner bears the loss.
Q1888. Is it permissible to give or take money with the intention of trading and making profit that is to be shared between the two parties as they see fit, without this being described as ribā?
A: If giving or taking the money was done with the intention of trading by way of a loan, all the profit should go to the borrower. Any damage or loss should be borne by him too. The lender has a right to nothing apart from the compensation for the actual money he lent, i.e. he should not demand any share of the profit. Yet, if the money was given or taken by way of silent partnership, getting any returns thereof should be dependent on the materialization of a proper and legal contract between the two parties, in accordance with all required conditions. Among them is the agreement that each receives a certain percent of the profit. Otherwise, both the money [capital] and the profits made from trading with it should go to the owner. The worker should receive compensation for his labor.
Q1889. Since banking transactions cannot be considered a true silent partnership because the bank does not bear a share of any loss, should the money received by the depositors as profit for their money be considered ḥalāl?
A: The bank may not be party to sharing the loss arising from money it has made available to businessmen by way of a silent partnership. Yet, this should not necessarily mean that such a partnership is invalid. Nor should it mean that the partnership contract is merely nominal and formal. There is no legal barrier to the owner, or his agent, stipulating, within the framework of the contract, that the working partner bears the damage and loss of the money owner. Therefore, the silent partnership espoused by the bank, as the agent of the depositors, is ruled sound and the profits made thereof, that go to the money owners, are ḥalāl unless it is proved that the transaction was nominal and invalid for a reason.
Q1890. I gave a sum of money to a jeweler to invest in buying and selling. Since the jeweler always makes a profit, i.e. without a loss, is it permissible for me to demand from him the payment of a certain amount of money by way of profit? If this proves problematic, is it permissible for me to take some items of jewelry instead of the profit? Should there still be a problem; can the payment of the profit be made to me through an intermediary? And finally should it still be problematic, can the payment of the money be made to me by way of a present?
A: For the silent partnership to be operative, the determination of the share of profit due to the money owner and the working partner should be made by any ratio, such as one third, one fourth, one half, etc. In other words, the partnership shall not be sound if it is entered into on the basis of the monthly payment of a certain amount of money to the owner as a profit of the capital he provided, irrespective of whether the monthly amount is paid in cash or in goods. Whether the owner received the amount of money directly or through an intermediary is immaterial. The same goes for the receipt of a certain amount of money as a share of the profit or by way of a present from the working partner in return for trading with the owner’s money. However, there is no objection to stipulating that the owner may receive monthly a portion of the profit on account, after it is made, so that the exact amount is calculated at the end of duration of the silent partnership.
Q1891. A person collected a sum of money from different people with the intention of trading with it and giving them proportionate shares of the profit. What is the view on such a deal?
A: There is no harm in that provided that combined their money for trading with the permission of the owners.
Q1892. Is it correct to stipulate in a binding contract that the working partner pays the provider of the money a certain amount of money each month as his share of the profit and to make muṣālaḥah as to the difference between this amount and the actual proportionate share of money owner in the profit? In other words, is it permissible to include, in a binding contract, a condition that goes against the provisions of a silent partnership?
A: There is no objection to that if the condition is to make muṣālaḥah over the owner’s proportionate share of the profit, after it is made, in return for a certain amount of money payable to him each month. Yet, should the condition be to determine the owner’s share of the profit as the monthly amount, this runs contrary to the nature of the silent partnership and is, therefore, invalid.
Q1893. A businessman received a sum of money from another as part of the capital of a silent partnership. It was agreed that the recipient gives the provider of the money a particular percentage of the profit. The businessman added the received amount to his existing capital and carried on doing business with the combined funds. However, at the outset he knew that it would be difficult to determine the monthly ratio of the profit the added amount could make. Thus, both the parties agreed to do muṣālaḥah over any decrease/ increase in the amount. Is the silent partnership contract legally sound?
A: The inability to determine the amount of the monthly profit that could be made from the invested capital should not affect the validity of the silent partnership contract provided that it fulfils all the other conditions that are necessary for its validity. So, there is no objection to that if the two parties agreed on investing the money by way of a silent partnership according to the legal framework and then agreed to make muṣālaḥah regarding dividing the made profit, i.e. after they gained the profit, the capital owner agrees to exchange his share of the profit for a certain amount of money in a ṣulḥ contract.
Q1894. A person gave another a sum of money to be invested in a silent partnership. It was agreed that a third party stood as a surety. If the man entrusted with the money disappears, has the provider of the money the right to demand compensation from the surety?
A: There is no objection to requiring a surety for the funds provided for a silent partnership, as the question goes. Should the working partner run away with the money that has been provided as capital for the partnership, or should he willfully and unjustly damage it, the money owner has the right to demand compensation from the surety.
Q1895. A worker who was entrusted with the money of several people by way of investment in a silent partnership lent a sum of money, either from the pooled funds or from that which belongs to a particular person, without the permission of the owner/s. Can he be considered un-trustworthy by virtue of having an unwarranted free hand in the money at his disposal?
A: His trustworthiness can turn into dishonesty if he gave a loan to another person without the permission of the owner. He should then indemnify the loan, in case it is not repaid. However, he should still be considered trustworthy insofar as the rest of the funds are concerned; unless it is proved that he has acted unjustly.
Rules Concerning Graveyards
Q2082. What is the ruling in the matter of appropriating a public cemetery with a view of building private property on it? What is the view on procuring a title deed to this effect? Is such a cemetery considered a type of public endowment? Should holding actual control of the land by private individuals amount to usurpation? Should the holders of actual control of the land pay rent? If this is so, where should the proceeds be spent? And finally, what should be the fate of the buildings erected on the land?
A: Procuring the title deed of the public cemetery per se is not a shar‘ī proof of ownership. It does not act as an excuse to usurp it either. The fact that it is a public cemetery is not a shar‘ī proof that it is a kind of endowment for the purpose of burying the dead in it either. However, if, according to common view, the place is a kind of public facility used as a burial ground, or any similar use, or there is shar‘ī evidence that it is a kind of endowment for burying the Muslim dead, the control exercised by these people over the land for their own personal use should be treated as usurpation, which is ḥarām to embark on. Thus, they should relinquish control of the burial ground, demolish the installations, and restore the land to its original state. Yet, holding them liable for payment of rent for using the land is not proven [not a clear-cut matter].
Q2083. A 35-year-old cemetery was demolished by the Council and turned into a public park. During the era of the previous regime, a number of buildings were erected on the land of the cemetery. Is it permissible for the competent authority to rebuild such facilities?
A: It is not permissible to have any one of these in the land: Build any installations, hold actual control of it, or make any change or alteration. That is, if [a] the land is endowed for the purpose of burying the Muslim dead, [b] the building work would entail exhuming the dead bodies or desecrating the graves of the pious, the scholars, or the believers, or [c] the land is a public facility needed to be used by the public. Otherwise, it is permissible in itself.
Q2084. A piece of land was endowed for burying the dead. The cemetery contains the graves of one of the descendants of the Imams (a.s.) and some martyrs. Since there is no suitable land to use by the youth for outdoor sporting activities, is it permissible to use the graveyard for this purpose provided that Islamic code of practice is upheld?
A: It is not permissible to change the cemetery into a playground. Nor is it permissible to have right of disposal over the land held in trust in avenues other than those specified in the endowment deed. Furthermore, it is not permissible to desecrate the graves of Muslims and the beloved martyrs.
Q2085. Is it permissible for the visitors of one of the holy shrines to park their cars inside a century-old cemetery that is no longer used as a burial ground? Taking into consideration that the people living in the village or elsewhere were burying their deceased relatives in this cemetery but now they have chosen another place for this purpose.
A: There is no harm in it provided that the act is not tantamount to desecrating the graves of Muslims, as seen in the common view. It should also not constitute a nuisance to the visitors of the holy shrine.
Q2086. Funeral directors prevent the digging of new graves beside some existing ones. Is there a shar‘ī reason for that? Are they justified in what they are doing?
A: No one has the right to reserve land around the graves of their relatives and, thus, prevent the believers from burying their dead in the public cemetery provided that the latter is held in trust or made available for the public to bury their dead.
Q2087. By virtue of a court order, a person came to own a piece of confiscated land. It is situated beside the cemetery that is no longer capable of accommodating more graves. Is it permissible to use the land for burial of the dead, after securing permission of the current landlord?
A: If the actual owner can be deemed the rightful owner of the land, there is no objection to making use of it with his consent and permission.
Q2088. A person donated a piece of land to be used as a burial ground and made it a public cemetery for Muslims. Is it permissible for the board of trustees to charge people a fee for burying their dead there?
A: They have no right to demand payment of anything for burying the dead in a public graveyard that has been designated as an endowment. However, there is no objection to their charging a fee for providing any sort of service to the cemetery or the relatives of the dead in connection with burying their loved ones.
Q2089. Due to the non-availability of a piece of land in the town centre to build an information centre on it, is it permissible to build the centre in the derelict part of an old cemetery?
A: It is not permissible if the public cemetery was designated as an endowment for burying the Muslim dead, or the building of the centre would entail exhuming the dead bodies or desecrating the graves of Muslims. Otherwise, there is no objection to that.
Q2090. As a mark of respect for the martyrs, who were residents of our village and are buried elsewhere, it is planned to install memorial stones carrying their names in the village cemetery. Is this permissible?
A: There is no objection to building symbolic graves. However, it is not permissible to prevent other people to bury their dead in that place. This should be so if the land is held in trust for the purpose of burying the dead.
Q2091. We have planned to build a medical centre on a piece of derelict land situated on the periphery of the cemetery. However, we could not absolutely conclude that the land was not used, sometime in the past, as a burial ground. This is borne out by the fact that the residents disagree among themselves one way or the other. What they seem to agree on is that there are dead bodies buried around the piece of land intended for building the medical centre. What should we do?
A: There is no objection to it unless it is [a] proved that the land is held in trust for the purpose of burying the Muslim dead as an endowment, [b] the land is a designated public place for the residents to hold ceremonies on it, or [c] building the medical centre would lead to exhuming the bodies of the believers or subject their graves to an act of desecration. Otherwise, it is not permissible.
Q2092. The area where we live is in need of a masjid or a health centre. There are no lands available to build any of these two projects, apart from an unused piece of land that belongs to the cemetery. It is intended that the proceeds from leasing the piece of land to these public services be spent for the needs of the cemetery itself. Is it permissible to lease this land, especially since nothing is known about the specific nature of holding it in trust?
A: If the land was held in trust for exclusive use as a burial ground, it is not permissible to lease or use it to build a masjid, a medical centre, or any other facility. However, it is permissible to put the land to use in any way that could render a service to members of the public in the area provided [a] it is not known by way of evidence that it has been held in trust for burying the dead, [b] it has not been designated as a public place for use as a burial ground for the residents, [c] it did not contain any grave, and [d] its owner is not known.
Q2093. The Water and Electricity Board intends to harness the power of water in generating electricity by building a number of dams. Among these projects is building a dam across the Karoon River. The area, which will be flooded by the dam lake, contains an old cemetery. Going ahead with the project is dependant on tearing down the graves in this cemetery. What is your view on the matter?
A: There is no objection to tearing down the old graves, containing bodies already turned into dust. It is not permissible to pull down the graves, containing bodies that have not yet turned into dust. Nor is it permissible to exhume the bodies that have not yet turned into dust. However, there is no objection to building the project at the same place if, considering economic or social situations, it is necessary to do so and moving the project from that area to another one, or sparing the cemetery by rerouting the course of water, is proved very difficult or unbearable.
That said, this should be carried out by moving the graves, containing bodies that have not yet turned into dust to some other place provided that the exhumation as such is not realized, in that it could be done by moving the bodies along with the surrounding soil. Should any dead body get exposed in the process, it should be moved and buried somewhere else.
Q2094. There is a plot of land that is adjacent to an existing cemetery. There seems to be no sign of any graves in the said land. However, at some stage in the past, it might have been a cemetery. Is it permissible to have disposal over this land by building a facility for social services?
A: If the land is part of the public cemetery that is held in trust for the purpose of burying the dead, or is considered, in the common view, the precinct of the cemetery, it should be treated in the same way the cemetery is. It is, therefore, not permissible to hold actual control of it.
Q2095. Is it permissible for anyone to buy a piece of land to be used for burial and building a grave over it before one actually dies?
A: If the place where the grave will be built is lawfully owned by others, there is no harm in buying it. Should the piece of land be held in trust for the purpose of burying the believers’ dead, it is not right to buy or reserve it for oneself, for it entails preventing others from making use of the land to bury their loved ones.
Q2096. Is it permissible to open up a walkway for pedestrians through the cemetery where it could lead to removing a number of twenty-year-old graves?
A: There is no objection to building a pathway through the graves provided that the ceremony is not an endowment, and this would lead neither to exhuming the dead bodies of Muslims, nor desecrating the graves.
Q2097. Is it permissible to build a masjid on the land of a derelict cemetery, especially when it is not known whether or not it is held in trust?
A: There is no objection to doing so provided that the land of the cemetery is not: [a] an endowment, [b] private property, [c] a facility for the public at large, or [d] a piece of land for holding ceremonies and building the masjid does not entail desecrating the graves or exhuming the bodies of Muslims.
Q2098. A piece of land has been a burial ground since a century ago. A few years ago, excavations in the land revealed the ashes and bones of the dead. Is it permissible for the Council to sell this land?
A: It is not permissible to either sell or buy the land if the cemetery was endowed. However, if the excavations lead to exhuming the bodies of the dead, this is also ḥarām.
Q2099. The Ministry of Education partitioned a somewhat old cemetery for the purpose of building a school on the partitioned land. The Ministry has done this without obtaining the approval of the residents. However, the school is now up and running. The students perform their prayer at the premises. What is your view on the matter?
A: There is no harm in making use of the school, nor is there harm in holding prayer at the premises provided that there is no evidence pointing to the fact that the land on which the school was built was endowed for the purpose of burying the dead, that it is not a public service facility for burying the dead or for some other use, and that it is not private property.
of a person in whom piety is so deeply embedded that he does not commit a sinful act on purpose.
a member of the sect that believes that Imam Ali (a.) is Allah.
to loan something — which you have the right to use — to somebody for free.
the third daily prayer said by a Muslim.
a religious festival celebrated as a happy occasion.
‘Īd of Aḍḥā
the tenth day of the last month of the lunar calendar. On this day the Muslims in Minā sacrifice animals.
‘Īd of Fitṛ
a religious festival celebrated on the first day after the month of Ramadan by Muslims.
‘Īd of Ghadīr Khum
the eighteenth day of the last month of lunar calendar. On this day Imam Ali (a.) was declared by the Holy prophet (s.a.w.) as his successor.
the fifth daily prayer said by a Muslim.
the time when a woman stops menstruating provided that she has completed fifty years (for a sayyidah sixty years).
nifās , i.e., usually only a few days of puerperium.
a poor person
a person who does not have, and is not able to acquire, enough money/property to pay his yearly expenses or that of his dependants.
a brother of Imam Ḥusayn (a.).
(to perform religious rites) on time.
the call to prayer.
the Household of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.).
one of the epithets of the last Imam (a.).
the property you owe to an unknown/inaccessible person.
an āyāt prayer
an obligatory prayer performed on the occurrence of eclipses, etc. detailed information about which is available in the chapter on āyāt prayers.
a part of the property at the disposal of an infallible imam (a.) or his vicegerent due to their rule over the Muslims.
the Five Infallibles (a.).
authorized religious authority
a competent mujtahid or his representative.
the verses 255-7 of the baqarah chapter.
of the Ba‘th Party which ruled Iraq during the Saddam era.
certain volunteer forces.
it is the abbreviation for ‘bismillāhir raḥmānir raḥīm’.
compensation paid to the heirs of a killed person or to somebody who is injured.
repetition of qaḍā’ prayers to ascertain their performance in order.
de facto contract / transaction
a contract/transaction concluded practically and not by pronouncing its special formula.
any expression containing the remembrance of Allah. The ṣalawāt upon the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.) and his household is one of the best dhikrs.
a non-Muslim among the People of the Book who lives under the protection of an Islamic government under special terms.
a gold coin weighing 3.6 grams.
a certain supplication in which one asks the help of Allah through the intercession of the Infallibles.
to allocate some property to be used — whether the very property or its profit — by certain people or for a public cause.
before the morning adhān a brightness (called false fajr) appears on the eastern sky, when it expands (called true fajr), it is the starting time for the morning adhān/prayer.
a unit of distance equal to 5.125 km.
the first chapter of the Holy Qur’an.
a mujtahid’s clear cut opinion about a jurisprudential issue.
Fātimah al-Zahrā’ (a.)
The beloved daughter of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) who married Imam Ali (a.).
of a contract, e.g., a purchase or a marriage, concluded on behalf of somebody without their permission.
voice of a human being produced in an undulating pattern to create the effect of rapture that is suitable for gatherings of merrymaking and sin. It is ḥarām to engage in this type of singing; as well as to listen to it.
taking a bath/shower in certain manners intending nearness to Allah.
to keep and hoard goods needed by people expecting a rise in the price while there is no other centre to supply it.
not fatwā; the order of the Jurist Leader regarding administration of the Islamic Country or issues related to Muslims in general.
a transaction similar to waqf (endowment). However, unlike waqf, you may make something ḥabs temporarily.
a word of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.) or that of the Infallible Imam (a.).
a set of rites that pilgrims to Mecca perform in the last month of the lunar calendar.
of a work permissible to do or food allowed to eat.
forbidden, an act which leads to Divine punishment.
of a descendant of Hāshim, the Holy Prophet’s ancestor, through paternal lineage.
nursing and bringing up a child.
girls’ covering in accordance with rules of Islam.
of affairs to which the Legislator does not consent to be neglected and rest with the Jurist Leader or his representative, like managing the property of an orphan who does not have a shar‘ī guardian.
a place dedicated to religious ceremonies about Imam Ḥusayn (a.).
to stay and fast in a masjid at least for three days in order to worship Allah.
(enjoying requirements) to infer shar‘ī rules from the Glorious Qur’an, traditions, etc.
a chapter of the Glorious Qur’an.
Imam Riḍā (a.)
the eighth Imam (a.).
a special dhikr to be said after adhān and before prayer.
of a member of the sect that believes that Ismā‘īl — a son of the Sixth Imam (a.) — was his successor.
in some cases the blood women see is referred to as istiḥāḍah.
istikhārah literally means to ask [Allah] for good. It is a way of removing a state of indecision through consulting the Glorious Qur’an or prayer beads. One may resort to istikhārah if pondering and consulting experienced trustworthy people fails to remove the state of indecision.
a kind of divination.
a masjid built in the city for the gathering of most of the residents of that city without being specific to a particular tribe or group of people.
the state of being junub.
a kind of contract in Islam, e.g., a person declares that he will pay certain amount of money as compensation to whoever does a certain work.
the compensation determined in a ju‘ālah contract.
of a person after having sexual intercourse or discharging manī.
the cube-shaped holy building at Mecca, to which Muslims face when they pray.
atonement done/paid for a sin.
being disliked in Islamic law but not forbidden.
twenty percent of annual savings from one’s income or that of certain properties. It contains two equal portions: the imam’s portion and the sayyids’ portion.
of an obligatory act which is discharged if performed by anyone.
kitābī (plural : the People of the Book/ahl al-kitāb)
A non-Muslim with a Book, i.e., a Jew, a Christian, a Zoroastrian or a Sabaean. A non-Muslim other than the above-mentioned is referred to as non-kitābī.
of an amount of water not less than 384 liters in volume.
game; jest; fun.
irrational useless acts.
The beloved daughter of the seventh Imam (a.) whose shrine is located in Qum.
the money one spends on himself and his dependants provided that it does not exceed one’s station as judged by common people.
a liquid that comes out after foreplay. It is pure and does not invalidate wuḍū’.
starting time for the fourth daily prayer, i.e., when the redness in the eastern sky disappears.
a person who is ḥarām for one to marry and/or it is permissible for one to see them without ḥijāb. There are three categories of maḥrams: a) blood-maḥrams like aunts and uncles; b) maḥrams by marriage like spouse, mother in law, father in law, son in law, daughter in law; and c) maḥrams through breast feeding.
of an act disliked but not forbidden in Islamic law.
certain liquid discharged from a mature person at the time of orgasm.
a qualified Islamic scholar you consult about jurisprudence.
the state of being a marji‘.
one of a few select places where a pilgrim to Mecca dons special clothing and starts the rituals.
of an animal which has not been slaughtered, hunted or fished in accordance with Islamic law.
the act of receiving khums and lending it back to the giver by the authority in charge of khums or the marji‘ when the giver owes some khums but is not able to pay.
the first month of the lunar calendar on the 10th of which Imam Ḥusayn (a.) and his companions were martyred.
a great scholar in Islam who is able to do ijtihād.
a sane person who has reached the age of shar‘ī puberty.
of an act desired in the shar‘ but there is no punishment in case you neglect it.
reconciliation and mutual agreement; the name for a certain contract in Islamic law.
of a person who is mujtahid only regarding some issues in Islamic jurisprudence.
to cut off a person’s ear, nose, or lip.
to commit oneself to a course of action, which is desired in the shar‘, by reciting a special formula.
the state of being najis.
not pure. One should not eat najis food. Wearing najis clothes during prayer makes it invalid.
The 20th/21st of March corresponding to the New Year’s Day in the Islamic Republic of Iran celebrated in some other countries as well.
of a person who is not maḥram to somebody else.
of an obligatory action not performed on time.
of an amount of water less than 384 liters in volume.
a person appointed by the authorized religious authority or specified in the will of the deceased to be in charge of affairs of a ward.
the direction toward the Ka‘bah.
punishment of a killer or a person who injured someone else to the same extent by the injured party or by the heirs of who was killed.
a part of prayer performed in the second rak‘ah in which a supplication is recited.
the property made as security for a debt/loan; deposit made at the time of renting a house.
a part of prayer consisting of one rukū‘, two prostrations, etc.
a kind of divination.
rebelliousness (of a wife)
not observing the rights of one’s husband.
there are two kinds of ribā:
a) Loan ribā, i.e., the mark up paid by the borrower to the lender. It is ḥarām if the loan contract is concluded on the explicit/implicit condition of the mark up.
b) Ribā of a sale transaction, i.e., to sell an item – normally sold by weight/ volume – in exchange for something of the same category in Islamic law plus extra.
a book on practical laws of Islam according to a certain marji‘.
to do a good act/worship intending for other than Allah in order to show off and seek status among people.
a part of some forms of worship such as hajj or prayer that are so necessary that the worship becomes invalidated if it is neglected even unintentionally.
a part of prayer in which one bows down and puts the hands on the knees.
to walk to and fro between Ṣafā and Marwah in a long passage adjacent to the Masjid al-ḥarām.
the time before the morning adhān.
to buy something for which you pay now but receive the goods later.
the Islamic greeting of “peace”.
salām of the prayer
the last part of the prayer.
a right or preference that in some countries a businessman or shopkeeper is maintained to have to his place of work due to his making it popular, attracting customer, or that he was the first man who rented the place, etc.
a male descendant of Hāshim – the Holy Prophet’s ancestor/ the grandfather of ‘Abbas, Ja‘far, Abū Tālib, Ḥārith, ‘Abdullāh – through paternal lineage.
a female descendant of Hāshim – the Holy Prophet’s ancestor/ the grandfather of ‘Abbas, Ja‘far, Abū Tālib, Ḥārith, ‘Abdullāh – through paternal lineage.
the month before Ramadan.
a two-rak‘ah mustaḥabb prayer said before watr prayer.
shar‘ or sharī‘ah
the Muslim code of religious law.
in accordance with the Islamic law.
the Islamic law.
the month after Ramadan.
solar hijrī year
a type of calendar common in the Islamic Republic of Iran starting on the first day of spring and calculated from the migration of the Holy Prophet (s.a.w.) to Medina.
word, act or confirmation of the infallibles.
an epithet for the Twelfth Imam (may Allah bring forward his reappearance.
"Allāhumma ṣalli ‘alā Muhammad wa āli Muhammad".
a contract through which both parties declare their agreement on something such as the transfer of some property, discharge from debt, or relinquishment of a right.
the punishment whose quantity and quality – unlike ḥadd – is determined by the authorized religious authority.
tab‘īḍ in taqlīd
to follow one marji‘ on some issues and (an)other marji‘/s on other issues.
to sit in a special position as if ready to stand up, i.e., in a congregational prayer when the imam is saying tashahhud but it is not the time for the follower to say it due to delay the latter sits in this way.
Phonetics of the Arabic language.
the first takbīrah with which the prayer starts.
a certain place for religious ceremonies.
to follow a mujtahid as far as Islamic law is concerned.
a place outside the city from where a traveler may shorten his prayer and break his fast in some cases, i.e., where one cannot hear the city’s adhān.
the phrase ‘subḥānallāhi wal ḥamdu lillāhi wa lā ilāha illallāhu wal lāhu akbar’ said in the third and forth rak‘ahs of a prayer.
a part of prayer said in the second and the last rak‘ah of a prayer in a sitting position.
to say something intending other than what is normally understood from it, this is a way to refrain from telling a lie.
the dry ablution.
the Ja‘farī jurisprudence
Islamic law according to Imam Ṣādiq (a.) observed by the shī‘ah denomination.
the People of the Book
earth from the grave of Imam Ḥusayn (a.).
a state of having ghusl and wuḍū’; a state of not being najis.
A liquid that occasionally comes out after discharging semen. It is ruled pure and does not invalidate wuḍū’.
A liquid that occasionally comes out after urinating. It is ruled pure and does not invalidate wuḍū’.
a one-rak‘ah prayer said as the last part of the mustaḥabb night prayer.
a city/place where you were born and grew up or which you choose as your permanent residence.
the special authority the Prophet (s.a.w.) and the Infallible Imams (a.) enjoy over human beings, etc.; the custody/guardianship of a ward by certain people.
a religious tax paid on certain crops, animals, and gold and silver coins under certain conditions. This term is also used for what Muslims pay at the end of the month of Ramadan.