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A. We have numerous hadiths that forbid playing chess, and hence the majority of scholars have ruled that playing it is forbidden and sinful. In the past, chess was primarily a gambling game that led to negative consequences. Even if no betting is involved and one plays with the intention of doing mental exercises or just for leisure, most scholars still consider it haram. There might be many negative effects to playing chess that one day science will discover. Some studies show that it’s very addictive, may lead to negative emotions, and might have some concerning impacts on the brain. Allah knows best.


A. If the type of substance used in nail polish blocks water from reaching the fingernails (which is the case with most types of nail polish), then according to the vast majority of scholars the polish must be removed before doing Wudhu. Performing Wudhu with the polish on any of the fingers would invalidate the Wudhu. As for the toes, at least one toe must be wiped, so it is ok to have polish on all the toes except one toe in each foot. So there is a difference between fingernails and toenails. The same applies to false nails.


A. What we have to observe when discarding such papers is to make sure that they are not desecrated. If placing them in the bin that gets recycled (and not dumped in a landfill) protects them from being desecrated, then it is permissible. Otherwise, one must either erase, cover, or fully cross out those names or words, or cast them in a river or lake. As for shredders, if people consider using them to be desecration of those names, then it would be haram.


A. If the cat touches you while praying, your prayer is valid even if it was wet. That is because the cat is pure. However, most scholars have ruled that cat fur on your prayer clothes will invalidate the prayer. Some scholars, such as Ayatollah Sistani, believe having cat hair on one’s clothes does not invalidate the prayer (though it is unrecommended to have them on one’s clothes during prayer).


A. Some scholars say it is not permissible to burn them, since they view that as a form of desecration. Another alternative is using a paper shredder if society does not view it as a desecration. It’s best to cast the paper in a body of water like a stream or lake.


A. Playing a game that involves a dice is not haram. Yes, if it’s a gambling game then it is haram. Chess is a gambling game. Backgammon was historically a gambling game, so such games are haram according to the majority of scholars.


A. It is a sin to curse a believer, even if their deeds were bad. The Imam (a) teaches us to never condemn a believer but instead condemn their bad deed (if it warrants condemnation of course, as there are conditions and sometimes it is a sin to expose a believer). Now if someone curses a believer knowing that the person he cursed was a believer (whether that person is alive or dead), then that curse will deflect back at him and he will be cursed. But if one did not really know and made a mistake or it was not deliberate, then Allah forgives if one seeks His forgiveness.


A. Yes, since the alcohol used is synthetic. If one does now know what kind of alcohol is used, it is considered pure due to the Law or Purity.


A. You should not cut off your ties with your siblings completely. You should keep formal ties with them, greet them when you see them, have dinner with them and so on. You are not required to hang out with them and spend a lot of time with them. Yes, it is recommended for you to try to have a positive influence on them, come up with creative ways to guide them, and show them what religion means in their lives. God will highly reward you for that.


A. Istihadha is any blood that a woman sees that is not considered Haydh. For instance, if one sees blood for less than three consecutive days, that is considered Istihadha. If the period stops and then after a week one sees blood that is also Istihadha. If the bleeding exceeds ten days it’s also istihadha. But any blood a woman sees between 3-10 days is Haydh. During Istihadha one must pray and fast. One would have to do Wudhu for each Salat if the blood is light. If it is medium then one must also do a Ghusl (shower) each day, and if it is heavy then three Ghusls are to be done each day.


A. Tattoos are not haram if they don’t block water from reaching the skin (because if they do, then one’s ablution and ritual shower will be invalid), but they are Makrooh (unrecommended).


A. According to a number of scholars, one may make a will to have his organs donated if two conditions are met. First, the life of the recipient must depend on receiving this organ, and by donating this organ after death the life of the recipient is saved. Second, the donor must be pronounced completely dead before his organs are cut from his body. If he is brain dead but has a heartbeat then he is not dead yet.


A. Pure silk is haram for men to wear, but if it’s 50% silk, for instance, then it’s fine. Deliberately wearing silk for men in Salat invalidates the Salat.


A. Scholars have stated that if gelatin undergoes a complete transformation (such that in the eyes of the people it is a completely different substance, like something burning and turning into ashes), then the gelatin would be halal. However, many Maraje’, based on their understanding of the process to make gelatin, believe that it does not undergo a complete transformation that would render it halal. Hence, if the beef is not halal them the gelatin extracted from it would not be halal. Some Maraje’ believe it goes through total transformation and hence say it is halal.


A. Tattoos are not haram (they are Makrouh) so she can get eyebrow tattoos
However, if the eyebrow tattoos will be such that they draw attention and are considered as Zeena, then from this aspect it would be haram. The tattoos should also not put a barrier on the skin, as this would prevent her from Wudhu and Ghusl.


A. According to many scholars, if there is no realistic hope for him to survive, then it’s not mandatory to put him on life support. But if you do put him on life support then you cannot have it removed until the patient dies. Removing life support after putting it is not permissible according to many scholars.


A. The Qur'an is the literal word of God. He revealed it in Arabic to Prophet Muhammad (s) throughout a period of 23 years. 


A. The story of the People of the Cave occurred between Prophet Jesus (a) and Prophet Muhammad (s), so there was no official prophet during their era. There were successors to prophets, but no known/universal prophets. The People of the Cave were on the path of Prophet Jesus (a).


A. The Qur’an confirms that our body parts will speak on the Day of Judgment (for instance see 41:20). The Qur’an specifically mentions the hands, feet, skin, tongue, ears, and eyes. The lungs are not mentioned in the Qur'an, but we can conclude that every body that was used to sin will speak on the Day of Judgment. Of course this will occur is if one does not repent in this life. If one repents, Allah will conceal that and not expose him or her. If one smokes to the point where excessive damage is done to the lungs, then this is considered a violation of the right that our body has over us. Allah has forbidden us from putting our body into extreme harm.


. The Qur’an tells us about some sinners from Bani Isra’eel who were morphed into apes as a punishment to them, but that does not mean this is how apes were created. Apes have existed for millions of years. As for evolution, there is no evidence that we humans are the descendants of apes. Yes, it is very likely that species went through a process of evolution, but God created Adam (a) directly without having descended from any other beings. Our hadiths tell us there were many human-like species who existed before Adam, so Adam was not the first human.


A. First read the English translation to understand the meaning of the verses, then it is advised to read the same verses in Arabic. It is very effective to read the Qur’an in Arabic because it is the actual word of God. Translations lose some effect because they are the words of humans. Read the translation and also the Arabic text is most recommended.


A. One must actually prostrate for it to count as a Sujood. Standing and lifting the prayer tablet to the forehead does not count. And yes one must prostrate instantly and not delay it.


A. You are not required to say anything in this Sujood, but it’s recommended to say the following: لا إله إلا الله حقا ، لا إله إلا الله إيمانا وتصديقا ، لا إله إلا الله عبودية ورقاً ، سجدت لك يا رب تعبدا ورقا لا مستنكفا ولا مستكبرا بل أنا عبد ذليل ضعيف خائف مستجير


A. Hadiths and Qur’anic verses indicate we will be in physical form in heaven, though our bodies will be quite different than this earthly body. It will still will be a type of body, and so will have some kind of human form.


A. Unintentionally vomiting does not invalidate the fast. If it is deliberate, however, then it would invalidate the fast.


A. No Kaffara is required. Now if this is a temporary condition and after the month of Ramadhan this person can make up this fast before the next Ramadhan, then all he has to do is just make it up. But if this is a long term condition and this person cannot make up these missed days, then he would just have to pay a Fidya of 750 grams of food like wheat for each day (which is about $2 per day in many parts of the world). If the inhaler does not generate moisture into the mouth that gets swallowed but rather the air from the inhaler is taken in by the lungs only, then it would not break the fast and no Fidya would be required. There are different types of inhalers so one much check how they work.


Yes, if you passed 16 miles and returned that same distance then you had to break your fast. However, keep in mind that the 16 miles are to be counted from the limits of your metro area or greater city, not from your house or neighborhood (according to most scholars).


A. You can remind them, but you don’t have to. There is a hadith that states if you forget and eat, don’t worry your fast is valid and it was Rizk (meaning sustenance or a blessing) from Allah, but this hadith does not indicate that you shouldn’t remind such a person. Now if this person is eating in the month of Ramadhan and he is eating publicly, and this either encourages others to break their fast or it violates the sanctity of the month of Ramadhan, then yes one must remind them.


A. Injections do not invalidate the fast, but you must take care not to swallow anything.


A. Your fast is valid.


A. If you have a genuine concern that fasting will make you sick, or it will exacerbate your sickness, or it will cause migraines that are very difficult for you to bear, then you break your fast. If your migraines are severe to the point where you are vomiting, then you break your fast.


A. You can make one niyah (intention) to fast the entire month of Ramadhan.


A. If the person was confident that he would not swallow drops of water or toothpaste, then his fast is valid.


A. he first 31 days have to be consecutive, then after that it doesn’t. Yes there is an exception for women. For instance, if the period was 7 days, then the fasting would resume after the seventh day, and the 31 day count would be 38 in this case. In other words, once this person has fasted 31 days (and the 7 days fell in this time frame), then after that there is no need to fast the remaining 29 days consecutively.


A. Backbiting does not technically invalidate the fast. However, it defeats the purpose of the fast and the one who backbites does not benefit from the spiritual rewards and effects of fasting. One reason why we fast is to keep away from sin, and backbiting is a major sin.


A. Hugging a member of the opposite gender who is not related to you (such as a parent, sibling, uncle/aunt, spouse, child) is inappropriate according to Islamic law. The same applies to shaking hands. However, doing so does not invalidate the fast.


A. If you do not know how many days of fasting you missed, you only have to make up what you are certain of missing. For example, if you do not know whether you have 10 or 20 days of missed fasting, but you are sure of missing 10 days, then you only have to up 10 days.


A. If fasting poses harm to her health, and it is considered a medical danger, then she can break her fast and make up the missed days at another time of year when she can fast without having her health impacted. But if it does not harm her health, and rather it just makes her feel tired or fatigued, then she must fast. Breaking the fast would incur a Kaffara (penalty) of feeding 60 poor per each day missed, or fasting 60 consecutive days per each day missed.


A. You may stop fasting if the reduction in milk will affect the child. Then you would make up the missed days later. You would also give the equivalent of 750 grams of food (such as wheat or rice) to a poor person for each day missed.


A. Normally what is meant by Kaffara is when one intentionally breaks his fast in the month of Ramadhan without an excuse. The Kaffara is feeding 60 poor people or fasting 60 consecutive days. The Fidya is one is unable to fast due to a medical condition, for example, and one cannot make up the fast in the following year. The Fidya is feeding one poor person for each day missed. If you are sick and break your fast, then you simply make it up after the month of Ramadhan. If you make it up then you don’t have to pay anything.


A. The penalty is feeding 60 poor people (the equivalent of 45 kilograms of food such as rice or wheat) per each day missed or fasting two consecutive months (the first 31 days have to be consecutive and the remaining 29 do not have to be such) per each day missed.


A. If the chapstick does not get inside the mouth and then swallowed, then it’s allowed. Otherwise it should be avoided. As for the mouthwash, if not a drop of it is swallowed, then it is allowed. The presence of the aftertaste of the mouthwash is fine.


A. If you slept with the intention of waking up before Fajr to shower but you happened to wake up after Fajr, then you must shower and fast that day and the fast is accepted. However, if you woke up and went back to sleep without showering then you will fast that day, but you have to make it up after the month of Ramadhan (but there is no Kaffara). If you sleep the third time, then some scholars say you must pay Kaffara in addition to making it up. Now if you slept with the intention of not showering before Fajr, and you woke up after Fajr, then you have to make up that day and pay Kaffara.


A. If the spotting is within the days of Haydh (for instance if one has a fixed period of seven days and this spotting is in those seven days), then you do not fast. After the month of Ramadhan you make up these 7 days. But if the spotting is during the days of istihadha (such as spotting for one day, then the blood completely stops for a day or so, then there is spotting again, such that there is no continuous blood for 3 days, then this would be istihadha not haydh, as haydh must be at least 3 continuous days), then you will fast.


A. Yes, Kaffara must be paid if they had no legitimate excuse for breaking the fast. If they did not know anything about Ramadhan and were not aware it is mandatory to fast, then they pay no Kaffara. They must make up all missed days, and if they don’t make them up before the following Ramadhan, then they must pay a Fidya.


A. The main obligatory fasts are fasting during the Month of Ramadhan, fulfilling an oath made to Allah (Nadhr or Yameen), and fasting to fulfill a Kaffara.


A. Fasting on the two major Eids, Eid Al-Adha and Eid Al-Fitr is haram, and it is also haram to fast the day of Ashura with the intention of celebrating that day and expressing joy.


A. According to most Shia scholars, we break our fast when the sun sets and the redness of the sky in the eastern horizon fades away. This usually takes 12-16 minutes after sunset in many places of the world. Some scholars have ruled that one can break his fast as soon as the sun sets.


A. Lying is a sin, and one must repent from it. Lying negatively impacts one’s spiritual state while fasting, but it does not invalidate the fast. Yes, fabricating a lie and attributing it to Allah invalidates the fast (such as falsely claiming that Allah has said something in the Qur’an or Hadith, or that He made something halal or haram).


A. Tasting food without swallowing it does invalidate the fast. Just make sure that you don’t swallow any of it and rinse your mouth to make sure you don’t swallow any traces of that food.


A. Those who fast will receive a special intercession from Prophet Mohammad on the Day of Judgement. Fasting also illuminates the grave, protects from the fire or Hell, protects from Satan, and forgives one’s sins.


A. According to a number of scholars, any blood a woman sees under ten days is considered Haydh. So if she sees a small drop of blood after the ghusl, her Haydh continued and she would make up that day.


A. The financial due is called a Fidya, which is feeding one poor person for each day (the minimum is 750 grams of food such as rice, wheat or dates). You may directly distribute it to the poor.


A. Hadith Qudsi is any hadith that directly quotes Allah’s words, whether from previous prophets, our Prophet, or from the Imams. So any hadith that quotes God’s words speaking in the first person and is not part of the Qur’an is called Hadith Qudsi.


A. There is no quick way to verify if a hadith is authentic or not. It requires scholarly experience to analyze the source and the content of hadith to see if it is compatible with the Qur’an and the teachings of Islam, and that it does not conflict with any other hadiths. However, there are some books, like al-Kafi, that most scholars throughout history have deemed reliable. This doesn’t mean that every hadith in it is 100% authentic, but generally speaking they are authentic. So if the hadith comes from a trusted source like al-Kafi, then one can feel safe that it is pretty much reliable.


A. We believe that all the infallible Imams of Ahlulbayt (a) have been given this capacity by God to know our actions. Allah says in 9:105:

وَقُلِ اعْمَلُوا فَسَيَرَى اللهُ عَمَلَكُمْ وَرَسُولُهُ وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ

"And Say, 'Keep working: Allah will behold your works and so will His Messenger and the believers.'" The word “believers” here refers to the Imams of Ahlulbayt (a). They are witnesses appointed by Allah, and a witness can see the actions of people. Remember that Satan, who is the enemy of God, has the ability to observe our actions and even read our thoughts sometimes. Hence, when you make an intention to do good, Satan tries to discourage you from it. If Satan has such an ability, then one should not find it difficult to accept that God's represetatives have such an ability as well (even to a greater extent).


A: We can remember Imam Hussain (a) in Salat al-Layl, not by asking forgiveness for him (because he was sinless), but by asking Allah to elevate his status and by sending Salawat on his soul. Also, it is recommended to seek forgiveness for living ones in our prayers, not just the deceased.


A. There are two narrations about that. One states 17 Safar, and one states last day of Safar. In Mashad, it is traditionally commemorated on the last day of Safar, whereas in Iraq it is commemorated on the 17th of Safar.


A. It is highly recommended to recite the Salawat after mentioning the name of the Prophet (s), but it is not mandatory. Yes, if someone deliberately avoids saying it on a regular basis, then that is tantamount to rejecting the instructions of the Prophet (s). It is not mandatory to say it after mentioning the names of the Imams (a).


A. This issue is disputed by scholars. There are multiple opinions on where she was buried, but the most accepted one is that she is buried in Syria.


A. Lady Zaynab Daughter of Ali Her father: Imam Ali son of Abu Taleb Her mother: Lady Fatima daughter of Prophet Mohammad Year of birth: 5 AH / 626 AD Place of birth: Holy city of Medina Year of death: 62 AH / 683 AD Age at death: 57 Place of burial: Damascus, Syria, or Egypt, or Medina Husband: Abdullah the son of Jafar ibn Abu Taleb (son of Jafar al-Tayyar) Children: Ali, Aun and Mohammad Notable siblings: Imam Hassan, Imam Hussain, Um Kulthoum, Abbas, Jafar, Abdullah, Mohammad ibn al-Hanafiyya Notable titles: Aqilah of Bani Hashem (Aqilah means a woman who is very honorable and generous), the Scholar and the Virtuous.


A. The Imams are endowed with knowledge when they are born, but as they grow their knowledge increases. In fact hadiths state every Thursday night their knowledge increases.
Now the teachings they seek from previous Imams either increase their knowledge (they know the main principles but the details they get from the previous Imam), or it is to demonstrate that although they have divinely inspired knowledge, they still get their knowledge from the Prophet (s). That way they would not get accused of making it up.


A. Yes there is a narration that says the 15th of Jamadi al-Awwal marks the birth of Imam Sajjad (a), but the narrations that say it is in Sha’baan are more authentic and more accepted by Shia scholars. Given that it’s close to the martyrdom of Lady Fatima (a), it’s probably better not to observe it on the 15th of Jamadi al-Awwal.

 


A. Imams are universal leaders and the highest status a human can achieve. The highest status Prophet Ibrahim (a) achieved was an Imam (see Qur’an 2:124). Prophet Muhammad (s) was also an Imam since he is a universal leader. The 12 Imams are also universal leaders and so they are Imams. We believe the 12 Imams are higher in status than all prophets except Prophet Muhammad (s) because their knowledge and level of infallibility were greater. They received their knowledge from Prophet Muhammad (a) and they had the full knowledge of the Qur’an, and the Qur’an supersedes all previous scriptures.


A. Some narrations indicate she was the descendant of Sham'oon (Simon), the disciple of Prophet Jesus (a). Imam Mahdi's mother was the granddaughter of a Roman emperor. She fled to Iraq and married Imam Hassan al-Askari (a). She was a very noble and righteous woman. She has numerous names and titles, but her most famous name is Narjes. She is buried in the city of Samarra, Iraq.


A . Imam Mahdi (a) was born in year 255 in the Hijri lunar calendar. Given that this year is 1440, that makes him 1185 years. In the solar calendar, he was born in the year 869, which makes him 1150 years old in 2019.


A. It is recommended to pay charity on his behalf, read Qur’an and gift the reward of the recitation to him, recite Du’a al-Faraj frequently especially during the Nights of Power, and constantly ask Allah to hasten his reappearance. It is also recommended to gain knowledge on him, his occultation, and what is expected from us during his occultation by reading books, articles and listening to lectures on these topics.


A. There is no hadith that specifically mentions they will return, but the hadiths that describe who will return definitely apply to them. One hadith states the likes of Salman and Ammar will return.


A. If it is a mandatory (wajeb) prayer like the five daily prayers, then you may pray inside your car only if there is absolutely no other place to pray and you cannot drive somewhere else to pray while standing. An example of that is in an airplane and they do not allow you to stand and pray because there is turbulence the entire duration of the flight, for instance. In that case you would sit and pray. Now if you cannot pray in your workplace but you can go somewhere else and pray standing, then you would have to do that. As for recommended prayers (such as Nawafil), you can pray them while sitting and driving even if you can go somehwere and offer them while standing.


A. You have time to pray Dhuhr until 4 minutes before sunset, because those last 4 minutes are exclusively for the Asr prayer. So let’s say sunset is at 6 pm. You have time to pray Dhuhr until 5:56 pm, then you have to pray Asr. Once the sun sets, the prayer becomes qadhaa.


A. Praying in a house that has alcohol is not haram and does not invalidate the prayer. However, such homes are not blessed and the angels avoid them. Now if a person living in that house has no choice (as other family members insist on bringing alcohol) then that’s ok and Allah knows this. One should pray in a room away from alcohol for more blessings. As for eating and drinking, and must not use any utensils in that came into contact with wine since wine is impure (Najes). They must be washed and purified before being used.


A. Yes you can pray them separately as they do not need to be done together. The sequence between Dhuhr and Asr, and Maghreb and Ishaa, however, must be observed.


A. Yes, praying on concrete is fine because it is made from the earth.


A. It is highly recommended to pray 100 Rak’as on Laylatul Qadr. One can do 6 days Qadhaa’ (102 Rak’as) and say to Allah, “Since tonight is a blessed night, I ask you to give me the reward of the prayer of Laylatul Qadr,” and hopefully Allah will grant that high reward. But technically doing Qadhaa’ doesn’t guarantee one will get the exact reward of the prayer of Laylatul Qadr because they are two different prayers.


A. One must pray Salat al-Ayat if a certain events happen, such as an earthquake or an eclipse. Whenever an earthquake is felt by people in one’s area, it is mandatory to observe this prayer. It is also mandatory to observe it during a solar or lunar eclipse. As for other events, such as a meteor striking the atmosphere, a severe thunderstorm or hurricane or any celestial event that causes widespread fear, then some scholars say it is mandatory to observe this prayer while others say it is recommended (Mustahab).


A. Scholars have different Fatwas regarding what constitutes “frequent traveling” that makes your Salat Qasr (shortened). Ayatollah Sistani, for instance, says if you travel 10 or more days a month, then you are a frequent traveler. Some others state if you travel once every ten days then you are a frequent traveler. And some, like Ayatollah Shirazi, state if you regularly travel once a week then you are a frequent traveler. One must check with the ruling of the Marja’ he/she follows.


A. If it’s a small step and you don’t turn away from the Qibla then it’s fine.


A. If you can walk a few small steps (without moving your face and body away from the Qiblah) to find another turbah, piece of paper, piece of wood, or anything that one can do sujud on, then you must do that. Or if there is paper in your pocket, pull it out and do sujud on it. Otherwise this person must restart the prayer.

 


A. First of all you must do your best to try to stand, even if it means you go to a corner or aisle and stand in there towards Qiblah and pray. For Ruku and Sujud, if you cannot do them, you just do Imaa’ (lower your head while standing).
If standing is not an option then pray in your seat, but you must face the Qiblah. If facing it is not an option then pray however you can.


A. Repenting is not enough. In addition to repenting one must also make up the missed prayers. It is mandatory to make up missed prayers.


A. Most types of pens do not have ink that acts as a barrier on the skin. Therefore, the water reaches the skin and Wudhu or Ghusl (ritual shower) is valid. If the ink, however, leaves a thick coating that blocks water from reaching the skin, then it must be removed before performing the ablution.


A. Wetting the face or hands before Wudhu is fine. The head and feet must be dry.


A. No, your wudhu is valid.


A. A number of scholars state washing your face/arms in Wudhu once is better than twice, but twice is acceptable.


A. To maximize the benefit of any Ziyarah, it is recommended to read it in Arabic yourself. Of course one who does not understand Arabic should read the translation first to know what he/she will be reading. One gets the reward for hearing it be recited, but the effect of reciting it yourself is greater. It is recommended to recite the words of the Ziyarah as you hear them being recited.


A. As for Du’a Tawassul, we do not have a solid chain that goes back to the Imams. Allamma al-Majlisi states that he came across this Du’a from a trusted book which attributes it to Shaykh al-Sadouq, and he is trustworthy of course, but we do not know what his chain was to the Imams. So if the issue in question here is the chain of the Du’a, then it does not have a solid/strong chain. However, this does not mean that the Du’a is not authentic. Many scholars believe that the content of the Du’a is valid and verified by other hadiths.


Imam Sadeq (a) narrates Ziyarat Ashura to us, but the Ziyarat is actually Hadith Qudsi. This means that Allah swt composed the Ziyarat, then Jibra’eel delivered it to the Prophet (s), then he delivered it to the Imams (a).


A. It is disputed whether Hadith al-Kisaa’ has a verifiable, solid and strong chain. Some scholars believe it has a solid chain that goes through Bahrani. Others dispute that because they do not know if that was the actual handwriting of Bahrani. In any case, many scholars agree that the content of the second part of the Hadith is authentic, correct and verified by other sources. We have to remember that many hadiths and Duas did not survive in history, especially those that addressed the high virtues of the Ahlulbayt (a). The Shia were always persecuted and their enemies would make an effort to obliterate such Hadiths and Du’as. Hence, we may not have a solid chain of narrators for some of them, but once we study their content, we can verify the content through other authentic hadiths.


A. There is not a specific hadith that recommends us to recite Ziyarat Ashura for 40 days. However, we have hadiths that indicate doing a good deed for 40 days has amazing benefits, and this applies to Ziyarat Ashura. Hence, scholars recommend reciting it for 40 days, and it has been proven to help with difficult situations. If one cannot say the La’an and Salam 100 times each, one may recite them once then say, “100 times.” Reciting Ziyarat Ashura this shorter way is effective, but reciting it with the full 100 times has a maximum effect.


A. 1- Recite “Ya Razzaq” 360 times everyday 2- Recite this Dua By Imam Zayn al-Abidin (a) ‎اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ هَبْ لِيَ الْعَافِيَةَ مِنْ دَيْنٍ تُخْلِقُ بِهِ وَجْهِي ، وَ يَحَارُ فِيهِ ذِهْنِي ، وَ يَتَشَعَّبُ لَهُ فِكْرِي ، وَ يَطُولُ بِمُمَارَسَتِهِ شُغْلِي‏ وَ أَعُوذُ بِكَ ، يَا رَبِّ ، مِنْ هَمِّ الدَّيْنِ وَ فِكْرِهِ ، وَ شُغْلِ الدَّيْنِ وَ سَهَرِهِ ، فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ أَعِذْنِي مِنْهُ ، وَ أَسْتَجِيرُ بِكَ ، يَا رَبِّ ، مِنْ ذِلَّتِهِ فِي الْحَيَاةِ ، وَ مِنْ تَبِعَتِهِ بَعْدَ الْوَفَاةِ ، فَصَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ أَجِرْني مِنْهُ بِوُسْعٍ فَاضِلٍ أَوْ كَفَافٍ وَاصِلٍ. ‎اللَّهُمَّ صَلِّ عَلَى مُحَمَّدٍ وَ آلِهِ ، وَ احْجُبْنِي عَنِ السَّرَفِ وَ الِازْدِيَادِ ، وَ قَوِّمْنِي بِالْبَذْلِ وَ الِاقْتِصَادِ ، وَ عَلِّمْنِي حُسْنَ التَّقْدِيرِ ، وَ اقْبِضْنِي بِلُطْفِكَ عَنِ التَّبْذِيرِ ، وَ أَجْرِ مِنْ أَسْبَابِ الْحَلَالِ أَرْزَاقِي ، وَ وَجِّهْ فِي أَبْوَابِ الْبِرِّ إِنْفَاقِي ، وَ ازْوِ عَنِّي مِنَ الْمَالِ مَا يُحْدِثُ لِي مَخِيلَةً أَوْ تَأَدِّياً إِلَى بَغْيٍ أَوْ مَا أَتَعَقَّبُ مِنْهُ طُغْيَاناً . ‎اللَّهُمَّ حَبِّبْ إِلَيَّ صُحْبَةَ الْفُقَرَاءِ ، وَ أَعِنِّي عَلَى صُحْبَتِهِمْ بِحُسْنِ الصَّبْرِوَ مَا زَوَيْتَ عَنِّي مِنْ مَتَاعِ الدُّنْيَا الْفَانِيَةِ فَاذْخَرْهُ لِي فِي خَزَائِنِكَ الْبَاقِيَةِ وَ اجْعَلْ مَا خَوَّلْتَنِي مِنْ حُطَامِهَا ، وَ عَجَّلْتَ لِي مِنْ مَتَاعِهَا بُلْغَةً إِلَى جِوَارِكَ وَ وُصْلَةً إِلَى قُرْبِكَ وَ ذَرِيعَةً إِلَى جَنَّتِكَ ، إِنَّكَ ذُو الْفَضْلِ الْعَظِيمِ ، وَ أَنْتَ الْجَوَادُ الْكَرِيمُ 3- After the Morning Prayer, put your hand on your heart and say 70 times “Ya Fattah” يا فتاح


A. Talqin means to repeat something (to someone or to yourself) until one understands it or memorizes it well.
Talqeen plays a big role in:
Strengthening one’s faith
Putting positive beliefs in one’s subconscious
Strengthening self confidence
It’s basically when a person constantly reminds himself of the truth, or what is right, or of God and the correct religion.
Du’as are definitely a great form of Talqin.
Modern marketing and advertising techniques use this method to market a product and make people buy it.


A. Imam al Baqer (a) and Imam al-Sadeq (a) established a university in Medina and trained their companions to extract Islamic laws. Often times if people did not have access to the Imams, they would ask their companions who were trained by the Imams to derive Islamic rulings. Also, in a well-known hadith attributed to Imam al-Mahdi (a), he states, “As for the scholars who are pious, restrain themselves and are obedient to Allah, then the layman may follow them.”


A. The circumstances of her death remain unknown. When she returned to Medina after the event of Karbala, she started to expose the corruption and injustice of Yazid, so apparently they had her expelled from the city. Some sources indicate she was exiled to Damascus, so Bani Umayyah could keep a close eye on her, while other sources indicate she was exiled to Egypt. She died some 2-5 years after the battle of Karbala. Most scholars are of the opinion that she passed away in the Damascus area.


A. Historically this day has been celebrated by the followers of Ahlulbayt (a). It is recommended to offer good deeds and give charity to the poor on this day. One reason why this day is significant is because on this day Imam al-Mahdi (a) officially became the Imam, as the day before the 9th his father Imam Hassan al-Askari (a) was martyred. Many Shia celebrate this day to honor Imam al-Mahdi (a). Another reason is that some narrations indicate that on this day some of the oppressors of Ahlulbayt (a) died.


A. Basically, twice at the time of Imam Ali (a) the sun was made to go back up in the sky after almost setting (so that the Imam could pray Asr on time). These were two miracles. The first one happened at the time of the Prophet (s) and the second during the caliphate of Imam Ali (a). Scores of narrators have narrated these events.


A. Eid al-Ghadeer marks one of the most important events that took place during the life of Prophet Mohammad (s). The Prophet (s) was on his way back from his final pilgrimage when he camped at an oasis called Ghadeer Khumm. Over 100,000 companions gathered there. It was on the 18th day of Dhul Hijjah that he raised the hand of Imam Ali (a) and declared him as his successor by saying, “Whoever I am his Mawla (guardian), Ali is his Mawla.”


A. Eid al-Ghadeer is significant because it represents the pure succession to Prophet Mohammad (s). It represents the protection of the the prophetic message and the completion of faith. It means we take our religious teachings after the Prophet (s) from a pure source. Ghadeer means that we honor the Prophet’s family, we uphold the Wilayah of Imam Ali (a), and follow the path of Prophet Mohammad (s) as shown to us by Imam Ali (a). Ghadeer means we support the leader whom the Prophet (s) announced for humanity, and we remember the values of this leader and try to uphold them in our lives.


A. In 5:67, the Almighty God commands the Prophet (s) to convey what God has revealed to him, such that if he doesn’t, then it’s as if he has not conveyed the message of God at all. Many hadiths indicate this verse was revealed about Ghadeer. Also, 5:3 states, “Today I have completed for you your religion, and have fully bestowed my blessings on you, and have accepted Islam as your religion.” Many hadiths indicate this verse was revealed about Ghadeer. Note that these verses were revealed towards the end of the Prophet’s life, when he had preached all important Islamic teachings. What was left was the open and public declaration that Imam Ali (a) is his successor.


A. All historians have stated that the event if Ghadeer took place. Today, we have the report of more than 110 companions who witnessed the event. Fakhr al-Razi, a Sunni scholar and exegete, says he has found 400 chains of narration for this hadith. No Muslim disputes that it occurred. Yes, many Sunnis argue that the Prophet’s statement “Whoever I am his Mawla then Ali is his Mawla” does not mean he appointed Imam Ali as a successor, since one of the meanings of Mawla is “friend” or “supporter.” The Prophet wanted to inform all people that Ali is his friend and supporter. This interpretation is refuted because the Prophet would not have over 100,000 companions gather under the hot scorching sun and delay their journey just to tell them Ali is my friend. The Prophet makes it very clear in his Ghadeer sermon that he is the guardian over believers, and Ali is also their guardian.


A. It is recommended to do the following i. Preform Ghusl iii. Observe Fasting iii. Recite Ziarat of Imam Ali (a) on the Day of Ghadeer. You may refer to this link - http://duas.org/ghadirziarat.htm iv. Recite Dua Nudba v. For More Recommended acts refer to Mafatih Al-Jinan or visit -http://duas.org/ghadir.htm


A. It was not the first time. The Prophet had announced Imam Ali has his heir, successor and caliph numerous times before. Early on in Mecca, in Hadith al-Dar, the Prophet made it clear Imam Ali was his successor. However, what was unique about Ghadeer is that it was the first time the Prophet (s) made this announcement to such a large gathering of people, and the wording he used were very strong. He made it clear that this is the direct command of God. So Ghadeer was a grand, official announcement that Imam Ali (a) is the Prophet’s (s) successor.


Salat al-Ghufayla is an authentic and recommended prayer that is to be performed between Maghrib and Ishaa Prayers. As for the story that the Imam (a) taught Yazid to pray it, we do not have a solid chain of narration for this story, so we cannot verify whether it happened or not. It is a commonly told story, but we cannot find a source for it. Assuming it is a true story, Yazid asked the Imam (a) if God could forgive him for what he did. The Imam told him since God’s mercy is infinite, if one truly repents, then there is room for forgiveness. So he asked the Imam (a) to teach him an act that can help him start repenting, and the Imam told him about this prayer. But the Imam knew Yazid was not serious and genuine, and he would not have the success to do it or repent. Yazid did not end up preforming this prayer. 


A. Repeating Tasbeeh al-Zahra (a) 10-20 times after the Fajr Prayer helps with memory, and memorizing the Qur'an in general is also effective for improving memory.


It’s mustahab to say in the Qunoot of Salat al-Watr the following: / Say 7 times - استجير بالله من النار / Ask Allah to forgive 40 believers, and try to mention them by name. / Say 70 times - استغفر الله واتوب اليه / Say 300 times - العفو


A. According to a number of scholars, it is possible to pray it before midnight, for any reason, though it is recommended to pray it after midnight. A number of other scholars, however, state that one can pray it before midnight only if he has an excuse, such as traveling or his sleep is too deep and hence he cannot get up after midnight to pray.


A. It is recommended after each of the daily prayers to prostrate and say “Shokran Lillah” (thanking God) three times. The more recommended way of observing this Sujood is by offering two Sujuds in the following manner: Prostrate on your forehead and say Shokran Lillah 3 times. Then without raising your head slide your forehead to the right side and say it again 3 times. Then without lifting your head switch to the left side of your forehead and say it three times. These two sides of the forehead are called Jabeen in Arabic, and the forehead is called Jabha. Then lift your head and put your right cheek on the ground and say it 3 times, then your left cheek and say it 3 times, then finally put your forehead on the ground and say it 3 times. In total you will say it 18 times, and the last time you put your forehead on the ground constitutes a second Sujood. Hence this act is called “The two Sujoods of Shokr” (Sajdatay as-Shokr in Arabic).


A. It is a prayer Prophet Mohammad (s) taught his cousin Jafar son of Abu Taleb to honor his sacrifices. It can be prayed anytime but the best time is Friday before noon. It carries an immense reward and fulfills one’s needs. It is 4 units (rak’at), prayed two by two. In the first unit after Sura Fatiha, Sura Zilzila is recited, and in the second unit Sura Aadiyaat, and in the third Nasr, and in the fourth Ikhlaas. In each unit, the phrase, “Subhanallahi wal hamdulillahi wa la ilaha illa Allahu wallahu akbar” is recited 15 times right before Ruku’, and then 10 times in the Ruku’, right after standing from Ruku’, in the first Sujud, while sitting after the first Sujud, in the second Sujud and finally after the second Sujud while sitting down. The total number of times it will be recited in each unit is 75, and in all four units is 300.


A. Yes, you will receive the full reward. In fact, your reward will be multiplied because when you gift a prayer to the Ahlulbayt (a), out of their generosity they will gift you back.


A. We recommend reciting this prayer 4 times
“Allahomma inni atawajjahu ilayka bi nabiyyika nabiyyil rahma wa ahle baytihi-lladheena ekhtartahom ala ilmin alal alameen. Allahomma layyin lee so'obataha wa huzunataha wakfini sharraha fa innakal kafil mo'afi wal ghailbol qaher."
اللهم اني أتوجه إليك بنبيك نبي الرحمة وأهل بيته الذين اخترتهم على علم على العالمين اللهم لين لي صعوبتها وحزونتها واكفني شرها فإنك الكافي المعافي والغالب القاهر

 


A. Based on our hadiths, we can estimate some 6-7 thousand years ago, so possibly 5000 BC.


A. Able (Habeel) was killed during the life of Prophet Adam (a). The successor of Adam was one of his other sons called Sheeth (Seth). His full name is Hebatollah Sheeth.


A. A hadith by Imam Sadeq (a) says he was given a choice to be a caliph or receive wisdom, so he chose the latter. Caliph here means a ruler. So when he refused to be a ruler, Prophet Dawood (a) was given this offer and he accepted to be caliph.


A. . Prophet Jesus (a) never married and did not have any children. His pure mother Lady Mary (a) also never married, nor was she betrothed to anyone.


A. Allah (swt) decrees Prophets at birth (and even before their birth), so when Prophets are born they are prophets. Yes, often times the prophethood of Prophets is not announced until later in their lives. According to one hadith Shia and Sunnis have narrated, Prophet Mohammad (s) said, “I was a prophet when Adam was between clay and water.”


A. He was not scared because he did know that he was a prophet or because he receiver revelation. He got scared because he had never seen anything like that staff turning into a snake, and so his emotion of fear kicked in. This is normal. Sometimes you know something but seeing it might impact you differently. If you are taken to a lion and you are told that the lion will not hurt you 100%, and you have no doubts about that, but if the lion gets too close to you, then you still inadvertently get scared.


A. He was the husband of Maryam’s (a) aunt, as his wife Elizabeth was the sister of Maryam’s mother Hannah.


A. Apparently he was not. Some narrations indicate that after Prophet Yousef (a), prophethood continued through the sons of his other brother Lawi.


A. We have hadiths from Imam al-Sadeq (a) that Allah created two females for Yafeth and Sheeth, who were Adam’s sons. Once they had children, their children married one another (cousins married their cousins) and that’s how the progeny of Adam multiplied. Another hadith also states that Allah created two females, one for Qabeel and one for Habeel. As for the theory that Adam’s children married each other (siblings married their siblings), this is rejected by a number of our Hadiths. In one hadith, Imam al-Sadeq (a) states that God would not have the progeny of His prophet come from incest, and that incest was immoral in all eras.


A. Every messenger is a prophet, but not every prophet is a messenger.
A prophet simply means that he receives revelation from Allah. A messenger means he has a message (like a divine book) to deliver to his people. Most prophets were not messengers.

 


A. The mandatory Hajj (once in a lifetime) is more important than Ziyarah because the Hajj is a firm obligation. However, if someone has performed the Hajj and fulfilled that obligation, then going to Ziyara has a greater reward. There are several reasons for that, but I will mention two: (1) Hajj survived because of the sacrifice of the Imams (a), and if it weren’t for those sacrifices, there would be no Hajj. Essentially, Hajj without proper beliefs and specifically the belief in divine leaders whom Allah Has appointed is not the Hajj that God wants from us. (2) In Shura verse 23, Allah tells the Prophet to ask for nothing (in return for Islam) except the love of his family (Ahlulbayt). The Qur’an uses the word “Ajr” which means price in Arabic. For any transaction to be reasonable and just, the price you pay and the product you buy should be of similar value. If you buy something that is worth $100 for $500 that is not a just transaction. This verse states that Islam is the product the Prophet (s) delivered, and the price we have to pay for that product is loving the Ahlulbayt. Islam is priceless. So the product you are buying from the Prophet is priceless. The price we pay for that product is loving the Ahlulbayt. Hence, this pray we pay is also priceless and of equal value to Islam and at the same level of Islam. Ziyarah represents a form of loving the Ahlulbayt, and so it is priceless and the reward Allah gives us for Ziyarah is infinite. It is more than Hajj.


A. The Hajj is a journey of servitude to the Almighty God. We observe rituals that teach us humility and bring us closer to God. We meet other fellow pilgrims and realize that we are all equal in humanity. As we walk on the holy lands of Mecca and Medina, we remember the legacy of Prophet Mohammad (s). The Hajj is also an opportunity to break away from the daily routine and distractions of materialism and focus on spirituality, worship, and self-reflection.


A. There is a recommended prayer to be observed for ten nights from the night of the first of Dhul Hijjah till the tenth night. Observing this prayer has the reward of going to the Hajj. Between Maghreb and Ishaa’ prayers, you pray 2 rak’as (2 units). In each unit, you recite Surah al-Fatiha, then Surah al-Ikhlaas, then you recite verse 142 of chapter # 7 (Al-A’raaf). For more information see: http://www.duas.org/zilhajj/zil1to9.htm


A. It is always important to be free of religious dues, whether going to Hajj or not. One of the conditions of the Hajj is for the clothes of Ihraam to be 100% lawful. Hence, if one owes Khums, it must be paid before securing it. If the money acquired was not through halal means, and one does not know the exact amount of the haram money, and one does not have a way of returning the money to its rightful owners, then one can pay Khums on it and the remainder of the money will be halal.


A. God commanded Prophet Ibrahim (a) to take his wife Hajar and son Prophet Ismaeel (a) to Mecca. Later God commanded him to construct the Kaa’ba with his son. God also commanded him to invite people to Mecca to offer the pilgrimage, and since that day the tradition of the Hajj started. The Hajj we know today is very similar to the Hajj when it started, but after Islam some changes were made to it to make it more complete.


A. Pilgrims are encouraged to be charitable and to think of the poor. Hence, when they complete their pilgrimage, they are to sacrifice a sheep and offer it to the poor. Sacrificing a lamb is not an Islamic invention. It existed thousands of years ago in Jewish traditions and in other monotheistic faiths. If Islamic procedures of slaughtering the sheep are observed, the animal does not experience torture or cruel pain. The animal quickly becomes unconscious. Several scientific studies have demonstrated this point.


A. Yes, the Black stone, which is mounted on one of the corners of the Ka’ba, originally came down from Heaven. It was originally white, then due to the sins of humans it turned black. There is an angel by the Black stone who sees the pilgrims and will witness on the Day of Judgment for the pilgrims that they observed the Hajj.


A. According to the Ahlulbayt (a) school of thought, it is mandatory to offer Tawaf al-Nisa’ at the end of the Hajj. When one enters the state of Ihram, having a relationship with one’s spouse becomes unlawful. One must complete the rituals of the Hajj and finally perform Tawaf al-Nisa’ for one’s spouse to become lawful again. Skipping this Tawaf means that one’s spouse remains unlawful.


A. If you have the financial means to go to Hajj, then you are obligated to go. Talk to your employer and explain to them this religious requirement that you must fulfill. If going to the Hajj means you will lose your job, and there is no other job you can seek later, or you will have to go through unbearable hardship to find another job, then you are not required to go. There are some Hajj groups that make the journey in less than two weeks, so that is also an option.


A. If you observed the conditions of the Hajj, and when you finish the Hajj you yearn to go back again and worship God there, then this is a sign of acceptance Insha’Allah.


A. The Hajj is an important obligation, and this is not a reason to avoid going to the Hajj. If you have tried to reconcile with them and they have refused, then you have fulfilled your part, and you are not sinful in the eyes of God. Hence, you should go to the Hajj and your Hajj will be acceptable Insha’Allah.


A. There is no such mandatory Ghusl that must be done on the 40th. In Shia law, the Nifas is not necessarily ten days. If the postpartum bleeding stops before ten days, then a ghusl is required. In Sunni law, the maximum is 40 days, not 10.


A. It is okay for the entire body to get wet in the process of washing those parts. You do not have to keep the water from reaching other parts. The point is to fully wash those parts, regardless of whether other parts get wet or not.


A. It is highly recommended to observe the Friday Ghusl on Friday, but if you cannot observe it on Friday because you might not have access to water (for example you are traveling), then you can take it on Thursday. And if you miss it on Friday, you can make it up on Saturday.


A. The method of doing the Friday Ghusl is exactly the same as Ghusl of Janabat. The only difference is in the intention. Ghusl of Janabat is mandatory while the Friday Ghusl is recommended.


A. Yes, both of these Ghusls—Janabah and Jumu’a—can be combined in one intention and Ghusl.


A. The best acts of worship are: 1- Keeping away from sins (piety) 2- Praying 20 rak’as (ten prayers of two units) every night. This is the Nafilah of the month of Ramadhan 3- Reciting the holy Qur’an 4- Giving charity 5- Keeping ties with family members and visiting them


A. If your children do not fast and don’t have a medical excuse, then you should not offer them food during the day. You can make food for them before Fajr or after sunset.


A. It is recommended to pray 1,000 rak’as in the month of Ramadhan. Each night you pray 20 rak’as. That’s 30 x 20 = 600 Then on the 3 Nights of Qadr you pray an additional 100 rak’as. That’s 3 x 100 = 300. So far we have 900 rak’as. In the last ten nights, there is an additional ten rak’as each night, so that’s 10 x 10 = 100. The total is 1000. For the 20 nightly rak’as, it’s mustahab to pray 8 of them after the Maghreb Prayer and 12 of them after the Ishaa prayer. But you can pray them whenever you want at night. No need to say anything. Just fatiha and sura, and if you want to skip the second sura you can.


A. We must fast Yawm al-Shak with the intention of it being from Shaaban not Ramadhan. If it turns out to be Ramadhan, then it will have counted towards Ramadhan.


A. One meaning is that the gates of Allah’s mercy and forgiveness are so wide open that people are easily forgiven for their sins. Another meaning is that when we fast in Ramadhan, we are less likely to sin, and we are more likely to observe the sanctity of the Month of Ramadhan. Hence, sinful behavior usually decreases in the Month of Ramadhan.


A. Among the best A’mal for the Night of Power is: 1- Seeking knowledge (learn something about your faith, even if it is brief) 2- Recite Suras Ankabout, Roum and Dukhan 3- Put the Qur’an on your head and read the recommended prayer mentioned in books of supplication 4- Asking Allah to hasten the reappearance of Imam Mahdi 5- Praying for your parents, family members and all believers 6- Recite Sura Qadr as much as you can 7- Recite the Ziyara of Imam Hussain


A. If she deliberately delays the ghusl until Fajr then her fast would be invalid, but as long as she was not deliberate (she forgot), then she can do the ghusl when she remembers even if Fajr is just a few minutes away or Fajr actually set. She does not do Tayammum in this case. She does ghusl.


A. Only the private parts must be covered. Of course, it is advised that they dress appropriately.


A. Try your best to convince your mother and have people whom your mother respect talk to her and convince her. Assure your mother that you are confident, you are strong and that if you encounter discrimination you will report it. Remind your mother how much you love her and respect her, but at the same time ask her to give you the freedom to obey the laws of God.


A. Most Shia scholars consider lobster haram, regardless of how it dies. As for those who do consider it halal, then it must die outside of the water to be halal since all sea animals must die outside of the water to become halal. Thus, if lobster is cooked in boiling water alive, it will not be halal. In addition to that, boiling lobster to death is inhumane and cruel. Other methods should be considered.


A. Rennet itself is halal because we have hadiths that the rennet in a calf is pure even if the calf was not slaughtered the Islamic way. We don’t have certainty that the rennet was made Najes (impure) when it was extracted out of the stomach of the calf, so the Law of Purity applies. Yes, if you are confident that the rennet was made Najes (for instance the knife that was used to cut the non-halal calf became Najes and the same knife came in contact with the rennet), then cheese made with rennet would be haram.


A. It’s not haram in Islamic Law, but it is Makrooh. Some scholars have said eating beef regularly is Makrooh, but if it’s occasional (once a week or once a month) then it’s ok. Lamb is highly recommended


A. Sugar alcohol is halal and does not contain ethanol that makes one drunk


A. According to a number of scholars, if the overall amount of alcohol in the product is less than 2%, then it’s permissible to consume it. If it’s more then it’s haram. One would have to check the product ingredients and see how much alcohol is in it. Note that this does not apply to wine or beer. Any concentration of wine/beer is Najes, and therefore makes the food Najes.


A. According to many scholars, if a Marja’ who is deemed the most knowledgeable gives a Fatwa on a matter, his follower cannot act in that matter on the Fatwa of another Marja’. But if he does not give a Fatwa and rather expresses a precaution (Ihtiyat), then yes you may refer to the Fatwa of another Marja’. You may also follow the Fatwa of another Marja’ if it is proven to you (by the testimony of expert scholars) that the other Marja’ is more knowledgeable in that particular ruling/field.


A. If your role in that company is directly giving out the loan to the customer, such as negotiating the rate and offering the loan amount, then it’s haram. Otherwise, it’s halal (such as working in a department of that company that doesn’t directly put you in a position to give the interest-based loan to the customer).


A. It is considered nifas (postpartum bleeding). The maximum duration for Nifas is 10 days. Anything under 10 would be considered Nifas. Now if the postpartum bleeding exceeds 10 days, then she would consider the Nifas to be the same as the number of her period (such as 7 days), and the rest would be considered istehadha.


A. The first Majles was in Kufa when Lady Zaynab (a) gave a speech and eulogized Imam Hussain (a). The second Majles was in Damascus when Imam Zainul Abidin gave a speech in the presence of Yazid and eulogized Imam Hussain (a). Everyone cried in that Majles. Then later in Medina, Lady Zaynab, Lady Rabab, and Lady Ummul Baneen regularly held Majales for Imam Hussain (a).


A. Karbala teaches us that quality wins over quantity. It teaches us how to sacrifice for Allah. It teaches us patience, courage, perseverance, sincerity, strength, reliance on God, humbleness, and compassion. Karbala teaches us to stand up for justice. Karbala teaches us that if you sacrifice for God, Allah will make you eternal.


A. Imam Hussain (a) was buried three days after his martyrdom. Imam Zainul Abidin (a) buried him with the help of the tribe of Banu Asad.


A. Yes, the skies wept blood on the killing of Imam Hussain (a). One hadith states this happened for 40 days. In many parts of the world, blood was observed falling from the sky, and many buckets that contained milk or other types of food turned into blood. The Anglo-Saxon Chronicle states that in 685 AD it rained blood in Britain, and “milk and butter were turned into blood.” The year 685 falls around the era of the Battle of Karbala.


A. First of all, he wanted to demonstrate to the world that he was not pursuing power, nor did he have a personal agenda. Taking his family with him showed his sincerity and pure sacrifice for Islam. Second, with the men killed in Karbala, the women and children would live to tell the world what happened in Karbala and convey the message of Imam Hussain (a) to the world. They would expose the tyrants. Third, Allah wanted to elevate his family and reward them for this great trial.


A. Wahab al-Kalbi came from a Christian background. He embraced Islam and joined Imam Hussain (a), and he was martyred in Karbala. He earned a high degree in paradise.


A. Yes, one of the Imam’s companions was Jawn (John) ibn Huwayy. He was a black African companion of the Imam.


A. First of all, after years of Umayyad corruption, many had their eyes on Imam Hussain (a). It was important for Yazid to secure Imam Hussain’s allegiance so he could impose his rule on others. If Hussain didn’t recognize him as a legitimate ruler, then many others would challenge Yazid’s authority. Secondly, Yazid was an arrogant and hasty ruler. He did not contemplate the consequences of his actions. He underestimated the impact of killing Imam Hussain (a).


A. Mu’awiya broke the treaty he made with Imam Hassan, and he violated its terms by appointing his corrupt son Yazid to succeed him. Yazid, based in Damascus, asked his governor in Medina to force Imam Hussain (a) to pledge him allegiance. The Imam refused and left Medina to Mecca, then from Mecca to Iraq. Many in Kufa had written letters to the Imam promising him support if he arrives Kufa. The Imam headed towards Kufa to lead a noble revolution and awaken the Muslim Ummah from their deep sleep and insensitivity to injustice. The army of Yazid blocked Imam Hussain (a) from reaching Kufa. They surrounded him in Karbala and massacred him, along with his family and companions in year 61 AH / 682 AD.


A. Yes. Initially Omar ibn Saad, commander of Yazid’s army, decided to attack on the 9th of Muharram in the afternoon. Imam Hussain (a) sent his brother Abbas (a) to ask them to postpone it till the following morning. He tells him, “My brother, ask them to postpone the battle till tomorrow instead of this evening. We would like to pray to our Lord and seek his forgiveness, for He knows how much I love praying to Him, reading His book, supplicating and asking for forgiveness.” Abbas goes to them and asks them to postpone the battle till the following morning. Initially they hesitate to accept, but then finally they agreed.


Q. Yes, numerous reports indicate that on the 9th of Muharram, Shimr ibn Dhul Jawshan came to the camp of Imam Hussain (a) and shouted, “Where are the sons of our brothers?” He meant Abbas and his brothers because Shimr was from the Kelab tribe, so he was related to their mother Ummul Baneen who was also from the same tribe. Abbas intially refused to answer him, but Imam Hussain (a) asked him to respond to him. Abbas and his brothers said to him, “What do you want?” He told them I have brought you amnesty. If they were to abandon Imam Hussain (a), they would be safe. Abbas was infuriated at this offer. He shouted at Shimr saying, “May Allah curse you and your amnesty! You grant us amnesty but the son of the Messenger of Allah has no amnesty!”


A. Imam Hussain (a) and his brother Abbas (a) were both martyred on the same day in Karbala. Abbas went to get water from the Euphrates river. The tents of Imam Hussain (a) were about 600 meters to the west of the river. Abbas was struck and killed close to the river, so he was buried there by the instruction of Imam Sajjad (a). The distance between the grave of Imam Hussain (a) and Abbas is 378 meters, which is about the same distance between the Safa and Marwa in Mecca. Interestingly, in Sura al-Baqara, verses 155-157, the Qur’an talks about being tried with loss of life, fear and hunger, and how the believers submit to Allah. Then right after it in verse 158, the Qur’an says, “Verily the Safa and Marwa are among the symbols of Allah...”


A. First of all, he wanted to demonstrate to the world that he was not pursuing power, nor did he have a personal agenda. Taking his family with him showed his sincerity and pure sacrifice for Islam. Second, with the men killed in Karbala, the women and children would live to tell the world what happened in Karbala and convey the message of Imam Hussain (a) to the world. They would expose the tyrants. Third, Allah wanted to elevate his family and reward them for this great trial.


A. They arrived Karbala on Thursday, the second of Muharram, year 61 AH. When he arrived, his horse stopped. He asked his companions, “What is the name of this land?” Someone replied the Land of Taff. He asked, “Does it have another name?” They said, “Ghadhiriyat.” He asked, “Does it have any other name?” Someone said “Naynawa.” The Imam was looking for another name—one he had heard from his beloved grandfather. “Does it have another different name?” Someone finally said, “Karbala.” As soon as he heard the name Karbala the Imam took a deep breath, cried and said, “O Allah, I seek refuge in you from Karb (difficultly) and Bala’ (tribulations).” Then he said: my companions, we shall settle here. Here our men shall be killed. Here our children will be slaughtered. Here our women will be taken as captives. Our graves shall be visited here. My grandfather has informed me of this.


Q. On the 7th of Muharram, Omar ibn Saad receives a letter from Ibn Ziyad that states, “Block Hussain and his companions from having access to water. They cannot taste a drop of water.” Omar ibn Saad organizes an army of 500 fighters to guard the banks of the river to block Imam Hussain (a) and those with him from getting any water. Later that night, with the leadership of Abul Fadhl al-Abbas, they managed to fight those men guarding the river and fill a few buckets of water. The women and children were happy that al-Abbas brought them water. But this was the last time that Imam Hussain (a) and his companions would receive any water.


A. Imam Hussain (a) did not want to go to war. He tried to avoid the battle so people would not be killed, but his enemies insisted on fighting or he would submit to Yazid. The Imam refused to submit to the evil Yazid. On the 7th or 8th of Muharram, Imam Hussain (a) requested to meet Omar ibn Saad in Karbala. At night, ibn Saad came forward with 20 of his horsemen, and Imam Hussain (a) came out with 20 of his men. When they met, Iman Hussain (a) asked his men to go to the side and leave the meeting except for his brother Abbas and son Ali Akbar. They stood by his side. Omar ibn Saad also asked his men to step to the side except his son Hafs and his servant Laheq. Imam Hussain (a) said to him, “Woe upon you, do you not fear God whom you shall return to? You want to fight me when you know whose son I am? Leave your group and join me, for this will bring you close to God.” Omar ibn Saad replied, “I fear that my house will be demolished.” The Imam said, “I’ll have one built for you.” He continued his excuses saying, “I am afraid my ranch will be taken.” The Imam said to him, “I will compensate you with a better one in Hejaz from my money.” Omar ibn Saad said, “I fear for my family.” The Imam said to him, “I will guarantee you their safety.” Ibn Saad kept quiet. Then he said, “I have been promised to be the ruler of Rayy.” At that point, Imam Hussain (a) said, “May Allah have you slaughtered in your bed soon, and may He not forgive you on the Day of Judgment.”


A. Al-Abbas (a) was married to Lady Lobaba the daughter of Ubaydullah. She was a very righteous and noble lady. Her father was the governor of Imam Ali (a) in Yemen. She was present in Karbala and she witnessed the tragic martyrdom of her husband Al-Abbas. She witnessed his courage and how he defended his brother Imam Hussain (a) till his last blessed breath. One narration states she passed away two years after the Battle of Karbala at age 25. She had one beautiful son who was raised later by Imam Zainul Abidin (a). When the Imam would look at him, he would cry and remember what happened to his father al-Abbas.


A. Lady Shahr-Banowayh was one of the wives of Imam Hussain (a). She is known by her title “Shah Zanan,” which means, “The Queen of Women.” Her father was a Persian Sassanid King by the name of Yazdegerd. She was a very noble lady, very intelligent, well-mannered, chaste and pure. When Imam Hussain (a) married her, his father Imam Ali (a) said to him, “My dear son, treat her very well, and she will give birth to the best of people after you.” Indeed this prophecy was fulfilled and she gave birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (a). She was not present in Karbala because she had passed away right after she gave birth to Imam Zainul Abidin (a).


A. Um Ishaaq was one of the wives of Imam Hussain (a). She was the daughter of Talha ibn Ubaydullah, who was one of the companions of Prophet Mohammad (s). She was first married to Imam Hassan (a). Shortly before Imam Hassan (a) reached his martyrdom, he asked his brother Imam Hussain (a) to marry her after his death and to take care of her and their children. She had three children from Imam Hassan (a). Imam Hussain (a) honored his brother’s request and married her later. According to some reports, she gave birth to Fatima, so she had once child from Imam Hussain (a).


A. Lady Rabab was one of the righteous wives of Imam Hussain (a). She was the daughter of Emra’ol Qays, who converted to Islam from Christianity. She was well-mannered, pious, humble and noble. Lady Rabab gave birth to Sakina and Abdullah the infant. Imam Hussain (a) loved Rabab greatly. In a poem, he said:
لعمرك إنني لأحـب داراً تحلّ بها سكيـنة والرباب
أحبّهما وأبذل جلّ مالي وليس لعاتب عندي عتاب

“By your life, I love a home in which Sakina and Rabib live. I love them two and offer most of my wealth (to them), and no one should blame me.”

She attended the event of Karbala and saw her husband and son slaughtered. For a year, she would hold Majales for Imam Hussain (a), and she would sit under the sun since the body of the Imam lay three days under the sun after his martyrdom. She passed away about one year after the event of Karbala.


A. We don’t have hadiths that support this [loss of Aqeeq stone], so it’s mainly superstition. As for the aqeeq cracking, it is believed that it’s an indication that some danger was averted.

 


A. We don’t know exactly when our souls were created. It seems that once Allah created Adam’s soul, he created our souls and made that covenant with us. The first souls to be created were the souls of Ahlulbayt (a). God first created them as pure lights, then they became souls. Then our souls were created. Adam’s existence as a soul predates his creation from clay.


A. If this yin-yang symbol does not have any pagan origins, is not connected to any form of idolatry, corrupt belief system or any invalid beliefs about the souls and reincarnation, and is not considered in one’s society as supporting Buddhism, then it’s ok to wear it. Otherwise it would be haram.


A. Yes salvation is still possible for them. Some hadiths indicate God will retest them on the Day of Judgment, and if they pass that test they will be saved. Many scholars believe many Christians (who are not stubborn and did not deliberately reject the truth) will be forgiven by Allah.


A. We recommend to take it step by step with them. If we try to correct everything all at once, they might get pushed away. Wait for an appropriate time, let them know the priorities of our faith, then you can approach them about those old rituals they are still practicing. Use some judgment based on the convert’s circumstances. Give them time to better absorb Islamic teachings and learn more about Islamic beliefs, then gradually you can discuss those old rituals with them.


A. Scholars and linguists have stated numerous differences between Dhanb and Sayyi’ah. One is that Dhanb is a major sin while Sayyi’ah is a smaller sin. Another is Dhanb means sins whereas Sayyi’ah means shortcomings in observing obligations. In any case, we ask Allah to forgive us for any violation, sin, or shortcoming.


A. We have three opinions about the timing of the Me’raj:
17 Rabi Awal
27 Rajab
17 Ramadhan
It seems that the third opinion is more widely accepted. Yes, other schools of thought
commemorate it in Rajab, though they also have multiple opinions about it. It’s
possible—in reconciling these opinions—that the Prophet (s) went on this journey
multiple times (as Imam Sadeq (a) states). So this might explain the different dates
for the event


: Q. In, Surah Al-Isra’, Allah swt says
“And do not make your hand to be shackled to your neck nor stretch it forth to the utmost (limit) of its stretching forth, lest you should (afterwards) sit down, blamed, stripped off.” (Qur'an 17:29)
I read this story in a commentary
A woman once sent down her son to the Prophet (s) and asked his shirt for sanctification purposes of blessings. The Prophet (s) gave away his only shirt and as he had no other one to put on, he did not get out of the house for attending his prayers. This holy verse was revealed indicating that generosity does not imply that one gives away his only single shirt.
If the Prophet (s), with all his knowledge, knew that by giving away his only shirt he would not be able to go to the mosque to lead the prayers, and that this would lead to this command to be given, why did he give away his only shirt?

A. The Prophet (s) is at the peak of generosity. He doesn’t say no to anyone. So here Allah revealed a verse commanding him not to give everything away. After the revelation of this verse, the Prophet (s) had an “excuse” to say “no” sometimes. Through this amazing method, the Prophet (s) maintained the highest level of Akhlaaq yet he is able to say “no sometimes,” because now people know it’s a command from God. So the Prophet did nothing wrong by giving his shirt away. He was being generous. But then Allah told him you don’t have to go that far.
Example: you’re dead tired and your friend asks you for a favor. You don’t want to say no. Then your parent steps in and says, “I command you to get some rest.” So then you tell your friend, “I would want to help you but now I have to obey my parent.” Through this way you’ve maintained your generosity and you not helping your friend is justified.


A. Fatimiyya is observed 1 night, 3 nights, 5 nights and 10 nights around the world. There isn’t anything specific about 3 nights. It depends on the communities and their traditions.


A. Most of them are mentioned in the Qur’an, but some are from Hadith. These names are basically a reflection of Allah’s essential attributes, such as knowledge and power. They pretty much go back to these two attributes. For example, “the Merciful” means God uses His power to benefit us, and the “Avenger” means He disciplines the evildoers.
Now Allah has more than 99 names. Du’a Jawshan contains 1,000 names. The 99 stand out because they are the most special names out of all His names.


A. There are types of Sadaqa. Some types of obligatory Sadaqa like Zakat al-Fitra and the mandatory Zakat, a non-Sayed cannot give it to a Sayed. Yes, all other types of financial dues such Kaffaras or Fidyas can be given to a Sayed. Also, the Mustahab Sadaqa that one gives can also be given to a Sayed. Some scholars have made an exception for the Mustahab Sadaqa. They say that the Sadaqa given to the Sayed should not compromise the dignity of the Sayed. For example, let’s say you give 50 cents as Sadaqa to a Sayed for protection, and in the eyes of the public this brings some sort of humiliation to the Sayed, then it should not be given to them. The idea is that the Sadaqa should preserve the respect of the Sayeds since they are the progeny of Prophet Muhammad (s).


A. Zakat in its general sense means any financial obligation we have in Islam—whether Zakat, Khums, Kaffara or Fitra. Zakat linguistically means “to purify,” and by paying religious dues we purify our money. In its specific sense, Zakat is mandatory charity that’s paid on livestock, crops and gold/silver coins (it’s usually 2.5%). According to the school of Ahlulbayt (a), the obligatory Zakat only applies to these categories. If one does not own livestock, crops or silver/gold currency coins, then one does not have to pay Zakat.


A.  If you have extra money at the end of they year that you didn’t use towards your expenses, nor did you use it to pay your student loan, then most scholars say yes you’d have to pay Khums on it even if you have outstanding student loans.


A. One of our legal principles in religion is called the Law of Exemption (Bara’ah). It basically means you are required to fulfill a known obligation, and anything unknown is lifted from you. Hence, when paying Khums, you can go with the lower estimate ($500) since you are certain you owe it, but you don’t know whether you owe more. The Law of Bara’ah states you don’t have to pay the higher estimate.


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