The Office of the Supreme Leader

MONTHLY AHKAM | september 2019

Misquoting the View of a Marjaʻ
1. If someone inadvertently misquotes the view of amarjaʻ , it is incumbent on him, if possible, to correct his mistake. by relaying the correct view to those who heard or may have been affected by the misquoted view.
Difference of Opinion between Jurisprudent-Ruler and One’s Marjaʻ
2. On questions regarding which the view of one’s marjaʻ differs from that of the jurisprudent-ruler (walīyy al-faqīh), if the issue in dispute concerns the governance of an Islamic country or if it is related to the interests of the Muslim community at large — such as defending Islam and the Muslims against the enemies — it is the opinion of the jurisprudent-ruler to which one must yield, but if the issue is a personal and private matter, one must comply with the opinion of one’s marjaʻ.
The Purificatory Property of the Ground
3. The surface of the ground is one of the purifying elements. If the sole of one’s foot or shoe comes into contact with a canonic impurity and thus contracts impurity, one can restore its canonic purity by taking ten steps or more on the ground, provided that the following three conditions are met:
(1) the ground on which one walks is canonically pure,
(2) the ground is dry, and
(3) the canonically impure substance (e.g., blood, urine) or impurified matter (e.g., canonically impurified mud) on the sole of one’s foot or shoe is removed in the process of walking.
How to Pray When the Time Is Very Short
Q 4.| If the time for a canonic prayer is very short (say, we have not been able to perform the canonic prayer until only a few minutes are left before the expiration of the time of the prayer), what is the briefest permissible form of a canonic prayer that we may perform so as to ensure that it is finished in time?
A. |If the time is short, the worshipper must perform his canonic prayer without reciting a second sūrah following the recitation of al-Ḥamd, say one — rather than three — Quaternary Glorification (tasbīḥāt arbaʻah), and refrain from executing the supererogatory parts of the prayer, thus refraining from doing the qunūt and saying only one of the three closing salutations (salām).
Making Wuḍū Using Muddy Water
Q 5.| If someone is stuck in a place where there is no plain water, can he make wuḍū using muddy water?
A.| If the muddiness of the water is to such an extent that it would be incorrect to describe it as water(māʼ muṭlaq, i.e. water without adding another word to it, e.g. water flower, muddy water, barely water), the water in question cannot be used in performing the ablution of wuḍū. If there is sufficient time left to perform the canonic diurnal prayer that is due, the worshipper must wait to obtain plain water, but if time is running out, he must perform the substitutive ablution of tayammum.
Saving the Life of a Person of the Opposite Gender
Q 6.| Is it permissible for a doctor or nurse to see or touch the exposed body of a person of the opposite gender if it is to save his or her life?
A.| If no person of the same gender is present who could save the life of a human being in critical need of assistance, seeing or touching the exposed body of a person of the opposite gender is, insofar as it is necessary, permissible.
Performing the Ablution of Wuḍū with Nail Polish on Toenails
Q 7.| Can we make wuḍū if there is nail polish on our toenails, given that nail polish is water-repellent?
A.| The absence of nail polish from one of the toenails of each foot, such that the worshipper can rub her wet hand from the tip of that toe to the ankle, is sufficient for a correct performance of the ablution of wuḍū.
Attending a Gathering at which Some Attendees Commit Sin
Q 8.| Sometimes at some of the gatherings I attend, there are individuals who play cards but without the involvement of betting and only as a fun pastime. Is it permissible for me to attend such gatherings?
A.| Engaging in a game of cards is categorically impermissible, regardless of whether it involves betting. If your noncommittal presence at the gathering is seen as an implicit approval of the sin, it is impermissible and constitutes a sin, and thus you are obligated to forbid the attendees from engaging in the sinful activity, and you must leave the gathering if forbidding evil depends on it..
Failure to Synchronize with the Congregational Leader prior to His Getting Up from the Bowing Position
Q 9. | If we join a congregational prayer one segment (rakʻah) late, such that our second segment coincides with the congregation’s third segment, and as such when the imam and the congregation are reciting the Quaternary Glorifications (tasbīḥāt arbaʻah) we are reciting sūrah al-Ḥamd, what are we supposed to do should the imam complete the bow (rukūʻ) of that segment and rise to go to the prostration position while we have not yet entered the bowing position?
A.| In the above-described scenario, the worshipper must refrain from reciting the second sūrah, proceed to the bowing position immediately upon completing the recitation of sūrah al-Ḥamd, and come into synchronization with the congregational leader in the prostrations of the segment that they are in.
The Congregant’s Duty if the Imam Forgets to Perform a Prostration
Q 10.| What is a congregant supposed to do if the congregational leader (imam) he is praying behind forgets to perform a prostration?
A.| If possible, the congregant must try to signal to the congregational leader his mistake, but if this fails, the congregant must perform the prostration on his own and proceed to continue the rest of the congregational prayer with the imam, in which case his canonic prayer is correct in spite of the imam’s mistake, although as a matter of advisory caution (iḥtīyāṭ mustaḥabb), it is best if the congregant shifts his intention from a congregational prayer to a personal prayer (ṣalāt furādā) or redoes his prayer later.
First Occupational Travel
11. One whose occupation consists of traveling — such as a truck-driver — or whose occupation requires traveling — such as an employee whose position mandates that he travel frequently in order to take care of company matters — should say full prayer, i.e. four rakʻah for noon, ‘aṣr, ‘ishā’ prayersprovided that the other pertinent conditions are met.
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