The Office of the Supreme Leader

New inquiries (istifta') April

Purifying the sole of shoes
Q. How can one purify the sole of the shoe? Is just walking on [a surface wetted with] water, soil, sand, grass, asphalt road etc. sufficient or one should wash it with water if for instance, it has been contaminated by stepping on feces?
A. If the sole of one's foot or shoe has come into contact with a najis object due to walking on the ground, the sole of his foot or shoe will be purified if he takes nearly ten steps on dry and pure ground, provided that the inherently najis substance is removed.
Marriage of a sayyid to a non-sayyid
Q. Can a sayyid girl marry a non-sayyid boy?
A. Generally speaking, there is no problem in marriage of a Shi'a boy to a sayyid girl.
Using narcotics
Q. Is it permissible to use hashish or not?
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.
Picking up drunk passengers
Q: As a male taxi driver working in a western country am I allowed to pick up passengers who are drunk and drive them to clubs and pubs?
A. In the hiring contract and determining the fare the two parties are required to be sane, having attained maturity, and sensible (and thus sober); and a drunk person whose senses do not work is not qualified to pay you the fare. At any rate, it would be impermissible if it is understood as supporting what which is ḥarām.
Delaying the making up of the missed fasts to the next Ramadan (in the coming year)
Q. I am liable for the making up (qaḍā') of ten days of missed fasts of Ramadan of the past two years, but failed to make them up before coming of the next Ramadan. What is the ruling in the matter of giving kaffarah and making up the missed fasts?
A. If delaying the missed fasts until the next month of Ramadan is due to carelessness and without a shar`i excuse, kaffarah of delay will also be obligatory, i.e. to pay one mudd (about 750 gm.) food to a needy person for each missed fast. However, if the delay was for an excuse preventing one from performing valid fasts, no kaffarah is required. Whatever the case is, making up for the missed fasts is still necessary.
Reciting the dhikr phrases with raised voice (jahr) by a follower in congregational prayer
Q. Is he who attends, as a follower, a congregational prayer allowed to recite the dhikr (in rukū`, sujūd and tashahhud) with raised voice (jahr)?
A. Although there is no problem in it, it is makrūh that the imam hears the voices of the followers during the congregational prayer.
Shaving beard
Q. I just wanted to know if I open a men salon, is it ḥarām to shave beard of other men.
A. Generally speaking, according to obligatory caution it is impermissible to shave the beard with a blade or a machine that gives a similar result.
Q. Is it permissible to get a permanent tattoo?
A. Unless it has a considerable harmful effect, there is no harm in it per se.
Conversation before solemnizing the marriage
Q. Can a male and female, who want to be married, talk to each other via mobile/cell phone before marriage?
A. If the conversation is without the purpose of pleasure, does not entail sexual excitation, nor does it lead to a vile consequence, it is permissible; otherwise it is not.
Immersing one's head in water while fasting
Q. What rule applies to a fasting person who immerses himself in water while wearing waterproof clothing (such as a diving suit) which does not let the body become wet?
A. If the clothing (is tightly fitted and) has close contact with his head, it is problematic to say his fast is valid. Hence, as an obligatory caution he should make it up (and perform its qaḍā’).
Listening to a woman who sings a song or an elegy
1) Is it permissible to listen to any music sung by female?
2). Is it permissible to listen noha said by female?
A. 1-2. If the woman's singing is in the form of ghina', or listening to her voice is intended for pleasure or ill intentions or it would lead to vile consequences, it is not permissible.
Hindus & Buddhists
Q. Are Hindus and Buddhists kāfir in your opinion?
A. Yes, they are kāfir and ruled as najis.
Friday prayer
Q. Is Friday Prayer (Namāz-e Jum'a) obligatory (wājib)?
A. In the present era Friday prayer is considered an alternative obligation (wājib takhyīrī).
Attending an unlawful place
Q. I live with my husband in Australia, and several restaurants here have halal food but they also serve alcohol. Is it haram to go to such restaurants?
A. It is not permissible to sit at a table on which alcoholic drinks are available.
Celebrating somebody's birthday
Q. I am a hosteller, my Hindu friends here celebrate my birthday, as it is a culture for them in celebrating birthday. what should I do? as I feel awkward to refuse them? Is it permissible in Islam to celebrate one's birthday?
A. There is no problem in it per se.
Looking at a non-mahram woman
1) My maternal uncle's wife does not wear the Islamic hijab, and looking at her has no effect on me. Can I, accompanied with my wife and children, pay her a short visit on the occasion of Iranian New Year?
2). In case while crossing the street or passing through public places like offices and markets, we see women who do not regard the obligatory Islamic hijab, have we committed a sin?
1) At any rate, the shar`ī laws should be observed in the matter of associations and looking at a non-mahram. In case, when you forbid her she disregards, according to obligatory caution you should avoid looking at her deliberately.
You should know that to observe relationship (ṣilatur-raḥim), you can inquire after her health and congratulate her the Iranian New Year by telephone and the like.
2) In the given case, if they are of women who do not customarily cover themselves [i.e. do not care for Islamic hijab) and do not accept to wear it, even if they are advised, it would not be ḥarām to attend such places provided that there is no fear of falling into a sinful act, even if you know that you may catch a glimpse of them.
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